12:20pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Sarah Gadon to Star in Netflix's Margaret Atwood Drama 'Alias Grace' (Exclusive)
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 and Canadian broadcaster CBC'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. McDermott 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 over whether she actually was involved in the killings 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 executive produce; D.J. Carson (Spotlight) is on board as a co-executive producer. 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 murders 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 the feature Indignation. She is repped by WME, Creative Drive Artists and Jackoway Tyerman.