Tom Hiddleston has joined Claire Danes in Apple TV series The Essex Serpent.
The Night Manager star, 40, will play Will Ransome in the adaptation of Sarah Perry’s bestselling 2016 novel.
The series follows newly widowed Cora, played by Danes who, having being released from an abusive marriage, relocates from Victorian London to the small village of Aldwinter in Essex, intrigued by a local superstition that a mythical creature known as the Essex Serpent has returned to the area.
The book depicts Cora as a keen amateur naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, who is immediately enthralled and convinced that what the local people think is a magical beast may be a previously undiscovered species.
Will is the trusted leader of the small rural community in the series, which will be directed by The Selfish Giant filmmaker Clio Barnard.
He is also deeply suspicious of the rumours, but he thinks they are founded on moral panic, a flight from real faith.
As he tries to calm his parishioners, he and Cora strike up an intense relationship, and eventually change each other’s lives.
The series has been adapted from Perry’s novel by Anna Symon and will be produced by Oscar winning production company See-Saw Films.