35-year-old Keira Knightley will no longer be starring in Apple TV+’s The Essex Serpent. The actor’s rep said in a statement that Knightley has exited the streaming service’s original series “due to family reasons” amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The statement reads, “Keira had to unfortunately pull out of The Essex Serpent due to family reasons. As the COVID cases increase in the U.K. and additional lockdown and restriction rules are potentially being imposed, with so many unknowns, there wasn’t a comfortable scenario for Keira that could be put in place for an extended period of child care required for the 4.5-month production.” Knightley is married to husband James Righton, with whom she shares daughters Delilah, 1, and Edie, 5.
It was reported in August that Knightley would star in and executive-produce the project, in which she was set to play Cora Seaborne. The series is an adaptation based on Sarah Perry’s 2017 novel of the same name. According to its description, the book is set in the late 19-century England and follows Cora, whose “brilliant, domineering husband dies,”When he passes, “she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was not a happy one. Wed at nineteen, this woman of exceptional intelligence and curiosity was ill-suited for the role of society wife. Seeking refuge in fresh air and open space in the wake of the funeral, Cora leaves London for a visit to coastal Essex, accompanied by her inquisitive and obsessive eleven-year old son, Francis, and the boy’s nanny, Martha, her fiercely protective friend.”
Editorial credit: Cubankite / Shutterstock.com