Apple reveals Keira Knightley's replacement in period drama The Essex Serpent

Knightley reportedly pulled out due to concerns over childcare during the pandemic.

Homeland star Claire Danes will replace Keira Knightley in period drama The Essex Serpent, Apple has announced.

Knightley reportedly pulled out of the show due to concerns over childcare during the pandemic.

Claire Danes
Claire Danes will play a Victorian widow in The Essex Serpent (Ian West/PA)

Danes, an Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award winner, will now play the lead role in the Apple TV+ drama.

The US actress will star as the newly widowed Cora, who relocates from Victorian London to a small village in Essex, intrigued by a local superstition that a mythical creature has returned to the area.

The Essex Serpent is based on Sarah Perry’s best-selling 2016 book and the series will be directed by Clio Barnard, with Anna Symon serving as lead writer.

Danes first found fame in 1994 teen drama series My So-Called Life.

She later starred opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 big screen adaptation of Romeo And Juliet.

Danes is perhaps best known for playing Carrie Mathison in drama series Homeland.

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