Netflix on Thursday released first-look photos from its upcoming miniseries Alias Grace, based on the Margaret Atwood novel of the same name. The six-part drama — which boasts an ensemble including Chuck‘s Zachary Levi (pictured above) and True Blood‘s Anna Paquin — centers around the controversial real-life conviction of Grace Marks (11.22.63‘s Sarah Gadon), an Irish immigrant who becomes a Canadian domestic servant and is later sentenced to prison for the murders of her employer and his housekeeper in 1843.
Alias Grace, a co-production with the CBC, is set to premiere in Canada on Monday, September 25. Netflix has yet to set a Stateside release, save to say that it will premiere outside of the Great White North sometime this fall.
Sarah Gadon is going from Hulu to Netflix.
The Canadian actress has been tapped to topline Netflix’s Margaret Atwood drama Alias Grace, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Gadon, who most recently co-starred opposite James Franco in Hulu’s Stephen King limited series 11.22.63, will play Grace Marks in the streaming giant’s adaptation of Atwood’s award-winning novel.
Published in 1996, Alias Grace follows Grace Marks, a poor, young Irish immigrant and domestic servant in upper Canada who, along with stable hand James McDermott, was convicted of the brutal murders of their employer, Thomas Kinnear, and his housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery, in 1843. James was hanged, while Marks was sentenced to life imprisonment. She became one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of 1840s Canada for her supposed role in the sensational double murder and was eventually exonerated after 30 years in jail. Her conviction was controversial and sparked much debate about whether she was actually involved in the murder or merely an unwitting accessory.
The six-hour miniseries is inspired by Marks’ true story and will be written and produced by Sarah Polley (Looking for Alaska, Away From Her). Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol) will direct. Production is slated to begin in August in Ontario. Polley, Harron and Noreen Halpern (NBC’s Working the Engels) will exec produce; D.J. Carson (Spotlight) is on board as a co-EP. A premiere date has not been determined.
The Netflix adaptation, like Atwood’s novel, will introduce a fictional young doctor named Simon Jordan, who researches the case and falls in love with Marks. He soon becomes obsessed with her as he seeks to reconcile his perception of the mild-mannered woman he sees with the savage murder of which she has been convicted.
For Gadon, the role marks her first stateside starring TV vehicle. In addition to 11.22.63, her credits include feature Indignation. She’s repped by WME, Creative Drive Artists and Jackoway Tyerman.
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VARIETY – Hulu will debut “11.22.63,” based on the time-travel novel by Stephen King about the JFK assassination, on Presidents Day, Feb. 15, 2016.
J.J. Abrams, Stephen King, Bridget Carpenter and Bryan Burk serve as executive producers for “11.22.63.”
The nine-hour limited event series stars James Franco as a high-school history teacher who travels back in time to stop the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. “11.22.63” also stars Chris Cooper, Josh Duhamel, T.R. Knight, Cherry Jones, Sarah Gadon, Lucy Fry, George MacKay and Daniel Webber.
Scottish director Kevin Macdonald (“Last King of Scotland,” “State of Play”) directs and executive produces the first two hours.
Hulu will release episodes of “11.22.63” on a weekly basis, as it has done for its other original series. That’s in contrast to Netflix’s binge-friendly strategy of releasing the entire season of a show at once.
The series will be available exclusively to Hulu subscribers on either the $7.99 monthly plan with ads, or the $11.99 commercial-free option.
Hulu, owned by Disney, 21st Century Fox and NBCUniversal, has been steadily ramping up its slate of original series with big-name talent in a bid to win more paying customers — and compete more aggressively against Netflix and Amazon. Hulu’s recently debuted originals include “The Mindy Project” season 4 after Fox canceled the show, and Amy Poehler’s “Difficult People,” which will be returning for a second season.
Hulu had previously styled the name of the series as “11/22/63,” the same as King’s book, but now refers to it as “11.22.63.”
Sarah Gadon (Dracula Untold) has bagged herself a couple of high-profile parts. The Canadian actress will star opposite Logan Lerman (Fury) in James Schamusâ€™ directorial debut Indignation and star opposite James Franco in Huluâ€™s nine-part miniseries 11/22/63
Based on the novel by Philip Roth, Indignation is set in 1951 and focuses on Marcus (Lerman), the 18-year-old son of a kosher butcher in Newark who grapples with anti-Semitism, sexual repression and the escalating Korean War as he comes of age at a Midwestern Lutheran college. Into his life comes Olivia Hutton (Gadon). Blonde and pretty, Olivia is a classmate of Marcusâ€™ at Winesburg College. She goes on a date with Marcus and is attracted to his intensity. She is sexually promiscuous, headstrong and fiercely independent. A daughter to a highly regarded Cleveland surgeon, Olivia had previously attempted suicide and spent time in a mental institution.
Separately, Gadon will also star in 11/22/63, based on the 2011 bestseller from Stephen King about Jake Epping (Franco), an unassuming divorced English teacher who stumbles upon a time portal that leads to 9/9/1958 and goes on a quest to try and prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. But his mission is threatened by Lee Harvey Oswald, his falling in love and a past that doesnâ€™t want to be changed. Gadon plays the statuesque, smart and outspoken Sadie, a librarian at the Texas school Jake works at.
Read the full article on Deadline.