Jack O’Connell (Godless, Money Monster, Unbroken) will star in the BBC Two four-part thriller The North Water, being adapted and directed by multi award-winning Andrew Haigh (Lean on Pete, Looking, Weekend). Filming will begin in the fall.
Based on the critically-acclaimed novel from Ian McGuire, the series also starring Colin Farrell is 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 (O’Connell), 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.
“Jack is a fiercely instinctual actor who brings nuance and complexity to every character he plays. I can’t wait to see him bring Patrick Sumner to life,” said Andrew Haigh.
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, added: “Jack is one of the most fearless and instinctive actors of his generation and is the perfect choice to bring The North Water’s troubled and ambiguous hero to life.”
“Jack is one of the most exciting young actors working today,” said See-Saw Films’ COO Hakan Kousetta and Head of Television Jamie Laurenson. “He elevates each project he’s been a part of, so it’s no surprise he’s received so much attention and acclaim. We’re thrilled to have him on board.”
BAFTA award-winning British actor Jack O’Connell next stars opposite Laura Dern in Roadside Attraction’s Trial by Fire. Later this year he stars opposite Kristen Stewart in Against All Enemies and opposite Charlie Hunnam in Jungleland.
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.