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Keira Knightley withdraws from the TV adaptation of The Essex Serpent


Keira Knightley is pulling out of the TV adaptation of The Essex Serpent because of concerns about childcare during the pandemic … six weeks before filming begins

She was to star in a sparkling new costume drama that began filming in a few weeks.

But now, Keira Knightley has pulled out of the TV adaptation of The Essex Serpent because of concerns about childcare during the pandemic.

The 35-year-old's sudden withdrawal from multi-million pound production means that the lead role of Cora in the Gothic mystery now needs to be recast.

Difficult Choices: Keira Knightley pulled out of the TV adaptation of The Essex Serpent because of concerns about childcare during the pandemic

Apple TV + production should begin in six weeks. But the crew learned they were resigning and the drama was cut after mother-of-two Miss Knightley told producers she would no longer attend.

Costume designers, make-up artists and directors were shocked when they heard the news earlier this week.

According to industry insiders, Miss Knightley would likely have received a six-figure salary for participating in this drama.

Busy: The actress and her husband, James Righton, 37, have two daughters, Edie, five, and Delilah, who was born last September

Busy: The actress and her husband, James Righton, 37, have two daughters, Edie, five, and Delilah, who was born last September

Her representative told the Daily Mail that she "unfortunately had to withdraw from the project" for "family reasons".

The actress and her musician husband James Righton, 37, have two daughters, Edie, five, and Delilah, who was born last September.

The spokesman said that as cases of Covid in the UK increased and additional lockdown and restriction rules may be imposed, there was no comfortable scenario for Keira to set up for an extended period of childcare required for the four – a month and a half of production ".

Stepping out: Miss Knightley, who was seen wearing a mask near her home in North London earlier this week, was also set to become executive producer of The Essex Serpent

Stepping out: Miss Knightley, who was seen wearing a mask near her home in North London earlier this week, was also set to become executive producer of The Essex Serpent

Miss Knightley, who was seen wearing a mask near her north London home earlier this week, was also set to become executive producer on The Essex Serpent.

Sources said that while the industry was okay with the personal troubles the pandemic sparked, the delayed start of filming will represent another blow to the show's freelance workers, who have already been badly hit by Covid-19.

Another industry insider said incredibly tight security measures have been put in place on film and television production equipment to minimize the spread of the virus.

The Essex Snake is made for Apple by See-Saw Films, the company that produced The King & # 39; s Speech and the BBC series Top Of The Lake.

The 1893 novel follows Cora – a recently widowed widow who is free from her abusive husband – as she moves to the Essex countryside with her son.

She is interested in rumors about a mythical Essex snake that is believed to have returned to the area. The book was written by Sarah Perry and published in 2016.

Miss Knightley rose to fame as a teenager after starring in Bend It Like Beckham and Pirates Of The Caribbean. She later appeared in Atonement and The Imitation Game.

Good Read: The 1893 novel follows Cora - a recently widowed widow who is free from her abusive husband - as she moves to the Essex countryside with her son

Good Read: The 1893 novel follows Cora – a recently widowed widow who is free from her abusive husband – as she moves to the Essex countryside with her son

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