Jessica Brown Findlay will star as Mary Yellan in a new BBC adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s gothic novel Jamaica Inn, written by Emma Frost.
23 year old Jessica (represented by Troika) made her film debut in the coming-of-age drama Albatross. She played Lady Sybil Crawley in Downton Abbey, went on to star in Labyrinth, and has recently wrapped playing Rachel in Lone Sherfig's Posh. Jessica will next be seen playing the lead of Beverly Penn alongside an all-star cast in Winter's Tale for Warner Bros.
In Jamaica Inn she will star alongside Misfits and The Paradise star Matthew McNulty, who will play her love interest Jem Merlyn. They will be join by young cast member Charles Furness (represented by A&J Management) playing Thomas - newcomer Charles will soon be seen in the BBC's The Whale where he plays the lead role of Tom Nickerson.
for the channel by Origin Pictures it will be directed by BAFTA-winning
director Philippa Lowthorpe (Call The Midwife, Five Daughters), who said:
"I love Jamaica Inn
because it is an exhilarating adventure story set in a wild landscape
with brilliant characters, and at its heart is Mary Yellan - a fantastic
female heroine. I am delighted that Jessica Brown Findlay is going to
play this bold and opinionated, courageous but naive young woman, whose
curiosity and fiery nature get her into big trouble. To have Jessica,
along with such talented actors as Sean Harris, Joanne Whalley and
Matthew McNulty - it's my dream cast.”
Jamaica Inn synopsis:
in 1820 against the forbidding backdrop of windswept Cornish moors, the
story follows the journey of young and spirited Mary (Brown Findlay)
who is forced to live with her Aunt Patience after the death
of her mother. Mary arrives at the isolated Jamaica Inn to discover her
Aunt is a shell of the carefree woman she remembers from her childhood,
and instead finds a drudge who is firmly under the spell of her
domineering husband Joss.
The Inn has no guests - the
rooms are locked and kept for storage - but it soon becomes clear
that it’s a cover, as Joss is the leader of a smuggling ring, and
Jamaica Inn the hub of his ‘free’ trade.
As Mary gets drawn into
the dangerous world of smuggling, she finds herself attracted to Jem
Merlyn, Joss’s roughly handsome younger brother. But he stands
for everything that Mary despises and worse, she fears that he’s
involved in Joss’s gang. Mary’s morals and loyalties become deeply
conflicted. Who can she trust? Can she even trust herself?
guidance, Mary visits the parish vicar, Francis Davey, and
his sister Hannah. But can they help her to navigate this
dangerous new world and do the right thing, or will she lose herself in
everybody else’s criminality? When Mary finds herself in peril for her
own life, she is tested to the core and she’s forced to find out what
she’s really made of.
The cast also includes Sean Harris (The Borgias, Southcliffe) as Joss
Merlyn, Ben Daniels (Wiper’s Times, House Of Cards) as Davey, Joanne
Whalley (The Borgias, Gossip Girl) as Aunt Patience and Shirley
Henderson (Southcliffe, The Crimson Petal And The White) as Hannah.
Frost, writer, said: “I love Daphne du Maurier’s novels and it’s been a
lifelong dream to adapt Jamaica Inn. I hope I have done justice to this
wonderful tale of morality, survival and desire. It has been a pleasure
and a privilege to adapt it for the screen, and I'm tremendously
excited to see how our talented cast and director bring the scripts to
Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning,
commented: “I'm confident that this exciting young cast will bring this
classic story to the screen for a whole new generation of audiences.”
The 3x60 minute drama starts filming this week on location in
Cornwall, Yorkshire and Cumbria.