Based on the critically-acclaimed novel from Ian McGuire, the series will be produced by See-Saw Films for BBC Two and has been commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two.
Set in the UK and the ice floes of the Arctic in the late 1850s, The North Water tells the story of Patrick Sumner, a disgraced ex-army surgeon who signs up as ship’s doctor on a whaling expedition to the Arctic. On board he meets Henry Drax (Farrell), the harpooner, a brutish killer whose amorality has been shaped to fit the harshness of his world. Hoping to escape the horrors of his past, Sumner finds himself on an ill-fated journey with a murderous psychopath. In search of redemption, his story becomes a harsh struggle for survival in the Arctic wasteland.
Andrew Haigh says: “Casting the right leads is the most important part of any project and I’m thrilled to have Colin Farrell on board. I am a huge admirer of his work and can’t wait to see him bring Drax vividly to life.”
See-Saw Films’ COO Hakan Kousetta and Head of Television Jamie Laurenson, say: “The North Water is a thriller, a survival adventure, and searing study of character and man’s place in the world. We are so proud to have the compelling talent of Colin Farrell on board to bring Andrew Haigh’s vision of Ian McGuire’s novel to the screen.”
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says: “Colin Farrell will bring a blend of brutality and humanity to Andrew Haigh’s superb adaptation of this savage novel. The North Water is a brooding and resonant story which is set to grip BBC Two viewers.”
The North Water is executive produced by Jamie Laurenson (Head of Television) and Hakan Kousetta (COO, Television), alongside Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (joint Managing Directors) for See-Saw Films, Niv Fichman for Rhombus Media and Lucy Richer for the BBC. Kate Ogborn will be producing for See-Saw. The North Water is a co-production with Rhombus Media.
BBC Studios will distribute The North Water internationally.