Claire Danes Gets Her First Post-‘Homeland’ TV Gig, ‘The Essex Serpent’

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The lead in the upcoming Apple TV+ original period drama The Essex Serpent has been recast.

Homeland‘sClaire Danes will star in the role Keira Knightley was going to play before she had to exit for pandemic-related reasons. The series is based on Sarah Perry’s bestselling novel of the same name.

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In The Essex Serpent, the recently widowed Cora (Danes), after “being released from an abusive marriage,” moves from Victorian London to Aldwinter, a small village in Essex. There, she becomes “intrigued by a local superstition that a mythical creature known as the Essex Serpent has returned to the area,” according to Apple.

Anna Symon is lead writer and Clio Barnard directs. They will executive produce with Jamie Laurenson, Hakan Kousetta, Patrick Walters, Iain Canning, and Emile Sherman. Andrea Cornwell is a producer.

Danes, who has won three Emmys, four Golden Globes, and two SAG Awards, is best known for playing Carrie Mathison on Homeland for eight seasons from 2011 to 2020. Her previous TV credits include Temple Grandin, My So-Called Life, and Law & Order.