Jenna Coleman to star in BBC adaptation of The Cry

Jenna Coleman to star in BBC adaptation of The Cry

Actors Jenna Coleman and Ewen Leslie are to star in the BBC's adaptation of Helen FitzGerald's The Cry (Faber).

The series will be a four-part psychological drama for BBC One, written by Jacquelin Perske, based on FitzGerald's title which was first published by Faber in 2013. The publisher will be issuing a TV tie-in edition of The Cry in August 2018.

Coleman, best known for her parts in "Victoria" and "Doctor Who", will play Joanna, who, along with her husband Alistair (played by Leslie), deal with an unthinkable tragedy when their newborn baby is abducted from a small coastal town in Australia - changing their lives and their marriage forever. It is the catalyst for a journey into the disintegrating psychology of a young woman, exposing the myths and truths of motherhood.

Coleman said reading Perske's script felt like "walking a tightrope, racing page to page, unsettling, unknowable, uncomfortable, and thrilling".

She added: "I look forward to tackling this challenge and bringing it to the screen with such a talented team in Glendyn Ivin, Brian Kaczynski and Claire Mundell with Synchronicity Films and the BBC.”

Leslie said that he was "absolutely thrilled" to be part of the team bringing FitzGerald's novel to screen.

"From Helen FitzGerald’s addictive and exciting novel, to Jacquelin Perske’s beautifully written scripts, I’m absolutely thrilled to be a part of the amazing team that has been formed to bring these complicated characters and thrilling story to the screen", he said. "Synchronicity Films have a great track record in producing high quality drama and Glendyn Ivin is without a doubt one of the most exciting directors working today. I’m over the moon that they’ve asked me to join this amazing project."

Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama commissioning, said: “The Cry is an intense, psychological thriller which constantly surprises and I know that with the fantastic Jenna Coleman and Ewen Leslie leading the cast as the young couple thrown into haunting and exceptional circumstances, this will be a truly unmissable series for BBC One.”

The drama will be produced by Brian Kaczynski and executive produced by Claire Mundell for Synchronicity Films and Elizabeth Kilgarriff and Gaynor Holmes for BBC One. The Cry will be shot in and around Melbourne and Glasgow with the support of Film Victoria, Creative Scotland and Great Point Media. DRG hold the distribution rights. The deal was done by Marjacq Scripts.

The novel has sold 6,846 copies in paperback through Nielsen BookScan for £27,082.