According to Variety, Jenna Coleman is the most recently announced cast member set to star in the BBC and Netflix-produced series The Serpent.
One fascinating part of the current surge of interest in true crime and serial killers is getting new tellings of the stories of murderers that may not have appeared in your midnight Wikipedia searches.
The Serpent follows French serial killer and occasional gem thief and drug dealer Charles Sobhraj (played by Tahar Rahim), known, as you might expect, as “The Serpent” but also “The Splitting Killer” and “The Bikini Killer”. Sobhraj preyed on Western tourists, mostly hippies and beatniks, traveling along the Hippie Trail in southeast Asia during the 1970s.
Jenna Coleman will be taking on the role of Québecoise Marie-Andrée Leclerc, Sobhraj‘s most committed devotee, who famously ditched her fiancé to follow Sobhraj around and allegedly turned a blind eye to his crimes. Coleman is probably best known for her time as Doctor Who companion Clara Oswald, or more recently, for her portrayal of Queen Victoria in BBC’s Victoria. This isn’t Coleman’s first turn as a more villainous character: she’s been guilty of murder on the soap operas Emmerdale and Waterloo Road, but this will be her first time taking on a real true-crime figure.
Billie Howle and Ellie Bamber have also joined the cast as Herman Knippenberg, a Dutch diplomat building a case against Sobhraj, and his wife Angela. The script was penned by Richard Warlow (Ripper Street) and Toby Finlay (also Ripper Street), and is being directed by Tom Shankland (The Children) and Hans Herbots (The Treatment).
BBC One will be releasing The Serpent in the UK; Netflix will distribute the eight-part series to the rest of the world. The official release date has yet to be announced (the film is currently in production, filming on location in Thailand).
Looking forward to seeing how Charles Sobhraj‘s story will be told? Still waiting for your favourite true crime story to come to screen? Stay tuned for updates and join the conversation over on Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook in the Horror Movie Fiend Club!