Anya Taylor-Joy, Romola Garai and Alex Hassell have been set to star in BBC One and Masterpiece’s period thriller The Miniaturist, based on the best-selling novel by Jessie Burton. They’ll be joined in the three-part series, which is currently filming, by Paapa Essiedu (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Hayley Squires (I, Daniel Blake) and Emily Berrington (Humans).
Fleming and Sylvia scribe John Brownlow pens the series while Guillem Morales directs. Story is set in 1686, when 18-year-old Nella Oortman (Taylor Joy) knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. Full of hopes and dreams, she has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of wealthy merchant Johannes Brandt (Hassell). Instead, she’s met by his cold sister Marin (Garai) and their servants (Squires, Essiedu) and quickly realizes that nothing is as it seems. When Brandt finally appears, he presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet that is a miniature replica of their home which is to be furnished by an elusive Miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror what is happening within the house in unexpected ways and Nella soon realizes the escalating dangers that await them all.
The Miniaturist is produced by The Forge for BBC and co-produced with Masterpiece. Gethin Scourfield produces. Exec producers are Kate Sinclair and George Faber for The Forge, Elizabeth Kilgarriff for the BBC and Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece. Filming is taking place in Holland and the UK and the 3×60 series is expected to transmit later this year. All3Media handles international distribution.
“From the moment I read The Miniaturist in manuscript, I knew in my gut it was something truly unique – an exquisite mix of another world with the resonances of our own, not to mention characters to die for,” said Sinclair.
“I couldn’t be happier to tell this amazing and atmospheric story with such a wonderful group of people,” said Taylor-Joy. “I immediately fell in love with Nella’s resilience and am so looking forward to telling her story and helping to bring this magical book to life.”
Burton added: “This is an adventure for my book that I never dreamed possible and I’m so happy that The Miniaturist is in such capable and creative hands. The assembled cast is perfect to the vision I had in my mind’s eye in every way and I know they’ll make magic.”
Taylor-Joy starred in M. Night Shyamalan’s box office and breakout hit Split for Universal and also Thoroughbred for Focus Features. The in-demand actress also recently finished shooting thriller Marrowbone for Lionsgate.
Garai is known for her role in Oscar-winning pic Atonement as well as 2015’s title Suffragette and TV series The Hours. Hassell’s credits include Anonymous and Cold Mountain and he can next be seen in George Clooney’s Suburbicon.