Starz announced today that exclusive series The Luminaries, starring Eve Hewson (Behind Her Eyes, The Knick), Himesh Patel (Yesterday, Tenet) and Golden Globe Award-nominated actress Eva Green (Casino Royale, Penny Dreadful), will premiere on Sunday, February 14 at 9:30 PM ET/PT, following the Men in Kilts: A Roadtrip with Sam and Graham premiere on STARZ. Starz also released the official trailer (watch below) for the six-episode limited series from acclaimed novelist and series creator Eleanor Catton (Emma, The Luminaries).
Based on Catton’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name (buy at Amazon), The Luminaries tells an epic story of love, murder and revenge, as men and women travelled across the world to make their fortunes. It is a 19th century tale of adventure and mystery, set on the Wild West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island in the boom years of the 1860s gold rush.
The story follows defiant young adventurer Anna Wetherell (Eve Hewson), who has sailed from Britain to New Zealand to begin a new life. There she meets the radiant Emery Staines (Himesh Patel), an encounter that triggers a strange kind of magic that neither can explain.
As they fall in love, driven together and apart by fateful coincidence, these star-crossed lovers begin to wonder: do we make our fortunes, or do our fortunes make us?
The series also stars Eva Green as Lydia Wells, Marton Csokas (Into the Badlands, xXx) as Francis Carver and Ewen Leslie (The Gloaming, Fighting Season) as Crosbie Wells. The Luminaries is an acquisition from Fremantle.
The Luminaries is executive produced by Eleanor Catton, Andrew Woodhead (The Left Behind), Tim Bevan (Darkest Hour) and Eric Fellner (Mary Queen of Scots) for Working Title Television, Mona Qureshi (Les Misérables) for BBC, Christian Vesper (American Gods) for Fremantle, Claudia Bluemhuber (The Wife) for Silver Reel, and Tim White (The Furnace) for Southern Lights Film. Claire McCarthy (Ophelia) serves as director and executive producer for the series. Fremantle is handling global distribution.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Working Title and this wonderful team. Eleanor has written a series of brilliant screenplays. I loved her original novel and it’s so exciting that her own screen adaptation reveals yet more exquisite material,” said Eva Green previously.
Eleanor Catton, screenplay writer and novelist, said: “I’ve had tremendous fun adapting this novel for the screen and feel incredibly lucky to be working with such fantastic people across different art forms.
“Writing a novel is a solitary business, but writing for the screen is emphatically collaborative, and to see the world of The Luminaries enlarged and enriched in ways that go far beyond the scope of my own imagination has been a humbling and hugely exhilarating experience. I couldn’t be happier that the brilliant Claire McCarthy is at the helm, and I can’t wait to see this incredible cast bring the story to life.”
Director Claire McCarthy added: “Ever since I read Eleanor’s incredible novel I’ve been completely captivated by the rich world she has created. What an honor to bring this beautiful and original work to the screen. I’m delighted to be joining forces with such wonderful actors and dynamic creative team.”
Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, said: “The Luminaries is an astonishing novel exploring love and greed on the New Zealand frontier, and we are delighted that Eleanor and the team at Working Title has brought this brilliant adaptation to BBC Two. With Clare McCarthy directing and a formidable cast led by Eve Hewson, Eva Green and Marton Csokas, this promises to be truly stunning and hugely ambitious series.”
Mona Qureshi, executive producer at the BBC, commented: “We’re so excited to have Eva, Eve and Marton join the cast of this extraordinary debut of Eleanor Catton’s. With Claire McCarthy directing it promises a wonderfully rich and unique piece of television, full of spirit and heart.”
Andrew Woodhead, executive producer and MD at Working Title Television UK, said: “It is such a privilege to work with Ellie, Claire and our New Zealand partners at Southern Light on this unique and magical story. To now have such an amazing cast led by Eva, Eve and Marton joining us on our Luminaries journey is also truly exciting and a testament to the beauty and brilliance of Ellie’s writing.”