J.K. Rowling, BBC’s ‘Cormoran Strike’ Series Casts Lead Tom Burke (EXCLUSIVE)

J.K. Rowling's BBC Series 'Cormoran Strike'
Courtesy of Paul Black

British actor Tom Burke has been cast to star in the “Cormoran Strike” crime-drama TV series for the BBC, based on novels written by Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

The series, set to air on flagship channel BBC One, consists of three-parter “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” two-parter “The Silkworm” and two-parter “Career of Evil.” Each episode will last an hour. They will be produced as three separate event dramas and are set to begin shooting this fall in London. Rowling’s company Brontë Film & TV is producing.

Burke, who most recently starred in BBC’s epic “War & Peace” as Fedor Dolokhov and in “The Musketeers” as Athos, will play Cormoran Strike, a war veteran-turned-private detective operating out of a tiny office in Central London. Though he’s wounded both physically and psychologically, Strike’s insight and background as a military police detective prove crucial in solving three complex cases that have confounded the police.

“I’m overjoyed to be immersing myself in the role of Cormoran Strike, who is as complex as he is larger than life,” Burke said in a statement. “I know I’m joining an extraordinary team of people on a series that for me is peppered with moments of real emotional depth and meticulously grounded in the page-turning momentum of these novels. Cormoran’s world is rich and raw.”

“I’m thrilled about the casting of Tom Burke, a massively talented actor who’ll bring the character to perfect life,” Rowling said. “Cormoran Strike is pure joy to write, and I can’t wait to see Tom play him.”

The adaptations build on Rowling’s relationship with the BBC that started with the 2015 miniseries “The Casual Vacancy,” which was adapted from the author’s first post-Harry Potter book as a three-parter by Sarah Phelps, with Brontë producing.

Rowling, her agent and business partner Neil Blair, Ruth Kenley-Letts and Elizabeth Kilgarriff for the BBC will executive produce the Strike series. Ben Richards (“The Tunnel: Sabotage,” “Spooks”) will write “The Cuckoo’s Calling” and “The Silkworm,” and Tom Edge (“The Last Dragon Slayer,” “Lovesick”) will write “Career of Evil.” Michael Keillor (“Line of Duty,” “Critical”) will direct “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” and Jackie Larkin (“Stella Days,” “Kings”) will produce.

“Tom Burke has all the talent, depth and versatility needed to take on the mantle of Cormoran Strike,” Kenley-Letts said. “He’ll bring his own particular wisdom, charisma and emotional complexity to the part. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with him.”

Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content, and Ben Stephenson, former controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, originally ordered the show.

Lucy Richer, BBC acting controller of drama, said: “Tom Burke is the perfect person to bring to life the lead character of Cormoran Strike from these investigative crime stories which are the work of a master storyteller. Readers have fallen for Strike, and I think the television audience will too.”

Burke is represented by Troika.