Geraldine James, Maeve Dermody, Mia Tomlinson & Barney Sayburn Join BritBox’s ‘The Beast Must Die’

Geraldine James (The FiveAnne With An E), Maeve Dermody (Carnival Row, Marcella) and newcomers Mia Tomlinson and Barney Sayburn have joined the cast of BritBox UK’s first original drama series The Beast Must Die.

They join previously announced main cast members Jared Harris (Chernobyl, The Crown), Cush Jumbo OBE (The Good Wife, Deadwater Fell), Billy Howle (MotherFatherSon, Witness For The Prosecution) and Nathaniel Parker (The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Vanity Fair)

The Beast Must Die is described as a revenge thriller that tells the story of a grieving mother who infiltrates the life of the man she believes killed her son. The five-part series, which is based on the novel by Nicholas Blake and was penned by Gaby Chiappe, is being produced New Regency Television International and Ridley Scott’s Scott Free. Sarada McDermott is the series producer, while Dome Karukoski is attached to direct. The executive producers are Ed Rubin, Emma Broughton, Marina Brackenbury. David W. Zucker, Nathaniel Parker and Gaby Chiappe. New Regency will handle global sales for the series.

Filming on the series is set to get underway on Monday on the Isle of Wight and is expected to last for eleven weeks. It is expected to premiere on BritBox in 2021. The production has comprehensive Covid-19 protocols in place and is following strict social distancing guidelines, with all cast and crew required to wear masks at all times (except when cast are filming a scene). The cast and crew are also being tested routinely and will undergo daily temperature checks and health screenings, while on and off set ‘pods’ are being established to ensure safe interaction on the production.

“Gaby tricked me. I never anticipated to get so engaged with this evocative vendetta from a grieving mother, but that happened – and suddenly The Beast Must Die became an obsession for me. Pain and loss cause anger and the need to find revenge; to find a target”, said director Dome Karukoski. “I find the story intriguing as to whether the beast is the person we want to take revenge upon or if the beast is within us – one who wants to replace grief with hate”. He added: “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.”

While writer and executive producer Gaby Chiappe added: “What captured me when I read the novel was the combination of a thriller pulse and complex, nuanced characters; heightened action driven by truthful emotion. It’s what I hope I have managed to capture and translate to the screen more than eighty years after the book was first published. After so long spent in the company of the characters they are very real to me so it’s been hugely exciting to work with Dome and the production team and more recently with some of the actors to try and dig even deeper. I think 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.”