leslie caronShooting starts next month in Corfu on six-part drama, The Durrells, which Deadline recently revealed has been ordered by ITV. Line Of Duty and The Casual Vacancy‘s Keeley Hawes has now been set to star as Louisa Durrell with legendary French actress Leslie Caron as the shrewd and exotic Countess Mavrodaki. Written by Simon Nye (Men Behaving Badly) and produced by Sally Woodward Gentle’s Sid Gentle Films, The Durrells is based on conservationist Gerald Durrell’s trilogy of Corfu memoirs including My Family And Other Animals.

Other cast now lined up includes Josh O’Connor (Peaky Blinders), newcomer Callum Woodhouse, Daisy Waterstone (Silent Witness, Testament Of Youth) and Milo Parker (Mr Holmes).

My_Family_and_Other_Animals_BookThe story focuses on Louisa Durrell whose life is in meltdown and whose children (some of whom are entering adulthood) are going off the rails. It’s the 1930s, and a woman’s options are limited. So, Louisa decides to take the family to the untamed paradise of Corfu.

Greek cast will include Alexis Georgoulis (My Life In Ruins) as the handsome Spiro Hakaiopulos; Yorgos Karamihos (Ben-Hur) as helpful local Theodore; and Christopher Sciueref (300: Rise Of An Empire, Skyfall) as convict Kosti.

Hawes next appears in Ben Wheatley’s Toronto-bound High-Rise and Sky’s Fungus The Bogeyman. Gigi and An American In Paris star Caron last appeared on television in Jean Reno’s 2013 cop drama Jo. In 2007, she won an Emmy for a guest shot on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

The Durrells is based on Gerald Durrell’s childhood in Corfu which helped inspire his life’s work to rescue animals from the brink of extinction. Woodward Gentle is exec producing with Lee Morris and Nye. Christopher Hall (Critical) will produce and Steve Barron (Merlin) is directing.