Bertie Carvel and Eddie Marsan have been cast in the BBC’s adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Marsan will play Norrell, with Carvel as Strange, Norrell’s student.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is set during the Napoleonic Wars in an England where magic once existed and is about to return. The series will premiere in 2014 as part of BBC AMERICA’s Supernatural Saturday programming block and will be 7 60 minute episodes.
The series is produced by Cuba Pictures (Boy A, Broken) for the BBC and co-produced by BBC AMERICA, in association with Feel Film, Bell Media’s Space, Far Moor and Screen Yorkshire. It is distributed by Endemol Worldwide Distribution.
Two magicians shall appear in England. The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me. The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation’s past. But scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell whose displays of magic send a thrill through the country. Proceeding to London, he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very opposite of Norrell. So begins a dangerous battle between these two great men which overwhelms the one between England and France. And their own obsessions and secret dabblings with the dark arts are going to cause more trouble than they can imagine.