Based on Ian McGuire’s novel, the four-part series is being adapted by Haigh and produced by See-Saw Films for BBC Two.
Set in the U.K. and in the Arctic wasteland in the late 1850s, “The North Water” tells the story of Patrick Sumner, a disgraced ex-army surgeon who signs up as ship’s doctor on a whaling expedition to the Arctic in search of redemption. But he finds himself instead on an ill-fated journey with Henry Drax (Farrell), a psychopath he meets on board.
“Casting the right leads is the most important part of any project, and I’m thrilled to have Colin Farrell on board. I am a huge admirer of his work and can’t wait to see him bring Drax vividly to life,” said Haigh.
See-Saw Films’ COO Hakan Kousetta and head of television Jamie Laurenson described “The North Water” as “a thriller, a survival adventure, and searing study of character and man’s place in the world.”
The novel was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and named a New York Times Book Review editors’ choice. See-Saw Films’s drama credits include Jane Campion’s “Top of the Lake” series.
Farrell can be currently seen in See-Saw Film’s “Widows,” directed by Steve McQueen. He will also star in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of “Dumbo.”
“The North Water” is executive produced by Jamie Laurenson, See-Saw Films’s head of television, and Hakan Kousetta, the COO of television, alongside Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, joint managing directors. Niv Fichman for Rhombus Media and Lucy Richer for the BBC are also exec producing. Kate Ogborn will be producing for See-Saw. The North Water is a co-production with Rhombus Media.
BBC Studios represents “The North Water” internationally. The series has been commissioned by Piers Wenger, the controller of BBC Drama, and Patrick Holland, the controller of BBC Two.
Filming expected to start this fall.