Gugu Mbatha-Raw Will Headline BBC Adaptation of “The Girl Before,” HBO Max Likely to Co-Produce


Gugu Mbatha-Raw has yet another series in the works. The “Morning Show” alumna is already slated to topline “Surface,” an upcoming Apple TV+ psychological thriller that’s being exec produced by Reese Witherspoon, and co-star in “Loki,” Disney+’s series based on the character of the same name, and now word comes that she’ll lead “The Girl Before,” a BBC adaptation of JP Delaney’s best-selling 2016 novel. Deadline broke the news.

42, a U.K.-based production company, is behind the BBC One series and “in the advanced stages of bringing on board a U.S. co-production partner.” HBO Max is the frontrunner, according to the source.

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Set to be penned by Marissa Lestrade (“Deep State,” “Casualty”), “The Girl Before” tells the story of Jane, a “traumatized woman who falls in love with an extraordinary minimalist house, which remains under the spell of the architect who originally designed it. But when she discovers that three years earlier, another damaged woman died in the same One Folgate Street property, she starts to wonder if her own story is just a re-run of the girl before,” Deadline teases.

Lisa Brühlmann, who received an Emmy nod for directing “Desperate Times,” the fourth episode of “Killing Eve’s” second season, will helm the series. “Servant” and Castle Rock” are among her other credits.

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“A Wrinkle in Time,” “Fast Color,” and “Belle” are among Mbatha-Raw’s film credits. She starred alongside Mackenzie Davis in the beloved, Emmy-winning “Black Mirror” episode “San Junipero.”

Mbatha-Raw was last seen in “Summerland” and “Misbehaviour.” The latter, directed by Philippa Lowthorpe, is based on a true story and revisits how women’s rights activists disrupted the 1970 Miss World competition. “There’s a long way to go before we have complete equality and we need films like [‘Misbehaviour’] to push us along and to remind us of the legacy of the women who came before us,” Mbatha-Raw told Grazia. “Hopefully, it will inspire young women to keep fighting for a better future.”

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