Nearly a year ago the BBC announced their upcoming adaptation of Susannah Clarke's incredible fantasy novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell; today, we finally receive news of its casting. Bertie Carvel (Les Misérables) will play the charming, absent-minded Jonathan Strange while Eddie Marsan (most recently of The World's End) is the fussy Mr Norrell.
Of course my first impression is that there's only a nine-year age difference between the two actors, but Marsan has a fastidious quality that's just right for Mr Norrell, and a face that can be aged up pretty easily. (No offense?) They both feel right for the roles, and that's what matters. And the other thing that matters is that, now that casting has been announced, production begins this month in Leeds, Montreal and Venice. I am so excited they're actually filming on location in Venice.
The seven-part series was adapted by Peter Harness (Is Anybody There?) and will be directed by Toby Haynes (Doctor Who, Sherlock), and it will follow the trials of the only two practicing magicians in England at the turn of the 19th century. The book is a glorious thing and I hope you will read it before the series comes out. I'm so glad it will be adapted as a mini-series instead of a feature, because this is a rich text that deserves several hours of screentime.