Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey), Matthew McNulty (The Paradise), Sean Harris (The Borgias), Ben Daniels (House of Cards), Joanne Whalley (The Borgias) and Shirley Henderson (The Crimson Petal and The White) have been cast in BBC One’s upcoming three-part drama Jamaica Inn.
Jessica Brown Findlay has been cast as Mary Yellan, the young woman at the centre of the story who finds herself caught up in a world of smuggling and murder; Sean Harris as Joss Merlyn, the leader of the local smuggling ring; Matthew McNulty as Jem Merlyn, Joss’ brother who Mary finds herself attracted to; Ben Daniels as Francis Davey, the parish vicar; Joanne Whalley as Patience, the Aunt Mary goes to live with following the death of her own mother; and Shirley Henderson as Hannah, Vicar Davies’ sister. In addition, as TVWise previously reported, Charles Furness (The Whale) has also landed a role on the drama, which is set to begin production this week on location in Cornwall, Yorkshire and Cumbria.
Based on the classic Daphne du Maurier novel of the same name, Jamaica Inn is a three-part drama set in 1820 against the foreboding backdrop of windswept Cornish moors which follows the young Mary Yellan as she becomes entangled in a dangerous criminal world ridden with smuggling and murder, testing her resolve and morality to the very core. The adaptation was penned by Emma Frost (The White Queen). Origin Pictures is producing the drama with Sarah Stack, Stephen Wright, David Thompson, Ed Rubin and Hilary Heath serving as executive producers. Call The Midwife helmer Philipa Lowthorpe is attached to direct.
“I’m confident that this exciting young cast will bring this classic story to the screen for a whole new generation of audiences”, said Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning.
Emma Frost, who penned the adaptation, commented: “I love Daphne du Maurier’s novels and it’s been a lifelong dream to adapt ‘Jamaica Inn’. I hope I have done justice to this wonderful tale of morality, survival and desire. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to adapt it for the screen, and I’m tremendously excited to see how our talented cast and director bring the scripts to life.”
While Director Philippa Lowthorpe added: “I love Jamaica Inn because it is an exhilarating adventure story set in a wild landscape with brilliant characters, and at its heart is Mary Yellan – a fantastic female heroine. I am delighted that Jessica Brown Findlay is going to play this bold and opinionated, courageous but naive young woman, whose curiosity and fiery nature get her into big trouble. To have Jessica, along with such talented actors as Sean Harris, Joanne Whalley and Matthew McNulty – it’s my dream cast.”