EXCLUSIVE: One of BritBox UK’s first original dramas, The Beast Must Die, is ready to begin an 11-week shoot on the Isle Of Wight from next Monday. The series has also rounded out its cast, which is headlined by Jared Harris.
Produced by New Regency Television and Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Films, The Beast Must Die is an adaption of the 1938 novel of the same name by Nicholas Blake, the nom de plume of poet Cecil Day-Lewis, father of Daniel Day-Lewis. It tells the story of a grieving mother who infiltrates the life of the man she believes killed her son.
The five-part series will shoot with “comprehensive” coronavirus safety protocols, which include cast and crew being routinely tested for the disease and having to wear masks on set at all times, except when cameras are rolling. They will undergo daily temperature checks and health screenings, while on- and off-set “pods” are being established to ensure safe interaction on the production.
BAFTA-winning Chernobyl star Harris leads the cast, which also features The Good Wife’s Cush Jumbo, Billy Howle (MotherFatherSon) and Nathaniel Parker (The Inspector Lynley Mysteries). Geraldine James (Back To Life), Maeve Dermody (Carnival Row) and newcomers Mia Tomlinson and Barney Sayburn have also joined.
Gaby Chiappe (Their Finest) adapted The Beast Must Die for the screen, while Tolkein helmer Dome Karukoski has been attached to direct. Sarada McDermott is the producer. Executive producers are Ed Rubin and Emma Broughton for New Regency, Marina Brackenbury and David Zucker for Scott Free, and Parker and Chiappe.
Karukoski said: “The production has given us the tools to portray this story safely and with great respect during these troubling times. I can’t wait to be back at work and do what directors love the most. Seeing actors like Cush, Jared, Billy and the iconic Geraldine James bring their heart and soul into these characters.”
Chiappe, who used lockdown to hone her scripts, added: “The passion that has gone into developing this project through very difficult times, and the passion that is now going into shooting it in such challenging conditions, will make it something very special indeed.”
The Beast Must Die is the first BritBox original drama to go into production. Other upcoming shoots include Damian Lewis and Dominic West series A Spy Among Friends, Trainspotting writer Irvine Welsh’s adaptation of Crime, and Anthony Horowitz’s adaptation of his novel Magpie Murders.