×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Himesh Patel, Ewen Leslie Join BBC Adaptation of Man Booker Prize Winner ‘The Luminaries’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Himesh Patel and Ewen Leslie have joined “The Luminaries,” with production now underway on the highly anticipated series adaptation of Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel.

The pair join Eve Hewson (“The Knick”), Eva Green (“Penny Dreadful”) and Marton Csokas (“Into the Badlands”) in the period piece. The high-end drama is being produced by Working Title and Southern Light Films for the BBC in the U.K. and TVNZ in New Zealand.

British actor Patel is best known for a long stint in British daytime soap “EastEnders” and will soon be seen in Tom Harper’s Amazon Studios feature film “The Aeronauts” alongside Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones. Leslie is the Australian actor who starred opposite Jenna Coleman in “The Cry,” and alongside Nicole Kidman and Elisabeth Moss in another BBC and Sundance series, “Top of the Lake: China Girl.”

The Luminaries,” which won the Man Booker Prize in 2013, is being filmed on location in New Zealand, where the book is set, on the country’s South Island, against the backdrop of the 1860s gold rush. It follows young adventurer Anna Wetherell (Hewson), who has sailed from Britain to New Zealand to begin a new life. There she meets prospector Emery Staines, who will be played by Patel. Leslie is the reclusive Crosbie Wells.

Antipodean actors Yoson An (“Mortal Engines”), Erik Thomson (“The Code”), Benedict Hardie (“Hacksaw Ridge”) and newcomer Richard Te Are will all also appear in the series.

Catton has adapted her book for TV with Claire McCarthy (“Ophelia”), who directs. Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner and the BBC’s Mona Qureshi are among the executive producers. Fremantle has the international rights to the six-part series. Its executive vice president of global drama, Christian Vesper, will also exec produce.

More TV

  • Kasi LemmonsNew York Women in Film

    Kasi Lemmons, Jane Rosenthal, Ann Dowd Talk Golden Globes Female Director Snub

    The absence of women among director nominees for the Golden Globes is another example of how much work remains to be done to achieve gender parity in the entertainment industry, honorees said Tuesday night at the 40th annual Muse Awards presented by New York Women in Film and Television. “Harriet” director Kasi Lemmons, “The Irishman” [...]

  • The Flash -- "Crisis on Infinite

    'Crisis on Infinite Earths' Recap: A Rewritten Destiny Brings Another Superhero Death

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Three,” “The Flash” episode of the 2019 “Arrowverse” crossover. Tuesday night was the official midpoint of the ambitious “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossovers, with an episode of “The Flash” that also marked the final episode of the year for the [...]

  • THE MASKED SINGER tree identity ana

    'The Masked Singer' Reveals the Identity of the Tree

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead, if you have not watched the episode of “The Masked Singer,” which aired on Dec. 10 on Fox. “The Masked Singer” has sent home another character — and more importantly, has unmasked that contestant. On Tuesday’s episode, titled “A Pain in the Mask,” the tree was revealed to be [...]

  • THE MASKED SINGER semi finals

    Everything to Know About 'The Masked Singer' Semi-Finals

    Television’s breakout reality show, “The Masked Singer,” wraps up its second season, unmasking a winner, next week — but first, the quirky competition show will celebrate the holidays. Teeing up the grand finale of the inarguable hit series, Fox is giving extra airtime to the show this week with a two-night event. Tuesday night, the [...]

  • daredevil Marvel Netflix

    Marvel to Shutter Television Division

    Marvel’s television division is officially winding down. Variety has learned that Marvel Television will no longer be developing any new series beyond the shows that are currently in production. According to an individual with knowledge of the situation, Marvel will eliminate a number of positions in the near future as a result of the cessation [...]

  • Kaya Scodelario

    TV News Roundup: Netflix's 'Spinning Out' With 'Skins' Star Kaya Scodelario Gets Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix reveals the premiere date for “Spinning Out,” and USA reveals a first look at Ethan Hawke’s return to “The Purge” universe.  DATES Netflix‘s “Spinning Out,“ starring “Skins’s” Kaya Scodelario and from showrunners Lara Olsen (“Reign”) and Samantha Stratton, premieres Jan. 1. The series follows Scodelario’s Kat, a high-level figure skater [...]

  • Philip MckeonPhilip Mckeon

    'Alice' Child Star Philip McKeon Dies at 55

    Philip McKeon, known for playing the son of Linda Lavin’s titular character in the classic CBS sitcom “Alice,” has died. He was 55. The actor died Tuesday morning in Texas following a longtime illness, family spokesman Jeff Ballard confirmed to Variety. “We are all beyond heartbroken and devasted over Phil’s passing,” said Ballard. “His wonderful [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content