Paramount+ Unveils Cast for New Thriller ‘The Doll Factory’ From ‘Marcella’ Producer Buccaneer (EXCLUSIVE)
By Manori Ravindran, Variety
Paramount+ has unveiled the cast of its new original series “The Doll Factory” from “Marcella” producers Buccaneer Media.
An adaptation of the bestselling novel of the same name by Elizabeth Macneal, “The Doll Factory” is set in London in 1850 and tells the story of Iris, who paints dolls for a living alongside her twin sister, Rose, and those in their orbit, such as taxidermist Silas, who dreams of finding an item so unique he will be catapulted to fame, and painter Louis, who is searching for his next muse.
When Iris meets Silas, and then Louis, she is offered an opportunity to escape and start a new life. To do so, she must abandon her sister, sacrifice her reputation and launch herself into the unknown. But as Iris’ world expands, a story of dark obsession begins to unfold.
Leading the cast is Esmé Creed-Miles (“Hanna”) as Iris, Éanna Hardwicke (“Normal People”) as Silas, Mirren Mack (“The Witcher: Blood Origin”) as Rose, and George Webster (“Wedding Season”) as Louis.
Also joining the ensemble cast are Pippa Haywood (“Bodyguard”), Sharlene Whyte (“Stephen”), newcomer Reece Kenwyne-Mpudzi, Freddy Carter (“Shadow and Bone”), Saoirse Monica Jackson (“Derry Girls”), Laurie Kynaston (“The Sandman”), Jim Caesar (“The Witcher”), Akshay Khanna (“Chloe”), Aysha Kala (“The Undeclared War”) and Nell Hudson (“Outlander”).
Tony Wood, Anna Burns and Richard Tulk-Hart are executive producers for Buccaneer. Rising British screenwriter Charley Miles is adapting the series for screen and will also serve as executive producer. Sacha Polak (“Hanna”, “Dirty God”) is directing the series, with Cathy Brady (“Wildfire”) directing episodes four and five. Suzanne McAuley (“Magpie Murders”, “Maigret”) is series producer and Julie Harkin (“I May Destroy You”, “Becoming Elizabeth”) is casting director.
“The Doll Factory” was a top bestseller in The Times of London, and has been translated into 30 languages. Author Elizabeth Macneal is also an EP on the show.
Anna Burns, executive producer at Buccaneer, said: “We are so excited about the group of people we’ve brought together for this show. Charley and Sacha are an incredible team, and we couldn’t wish for a more talented cast to be bringing to life the characters we love so much. A huge thanks to Paramount+ who we are delighted to be working with again, and to our partners at Cineflix, SBS and TVNZ. Finally, thank you to Elizabeth Macneal, who has been a dream collaborator from the very start.”
Cineflix Rights will be distributing the series internationally and public broadcasters SBS in Australia, and New Zealand’s TVNZ have already pre-bought the historic thriller.
Filming for “The Doll Factory” has started on location in and around Dublin, Ireland, and will continue through to 2023. Ireland’s ShinAwil is handling local production.
The series was ordered for Paramount+ by Sebastian Cardwell, deputy chief content officer for the U.K. at Paramount. “The Doll Factory” is among the 150 international original commissions planned for Paramount+ by 2025.
The title joins a growing slate from the U.K. production community, including “The Flatshare,” “A Gentleman in Moscow,” “No Escape” and “The Burning Girls.”
Creed-Miles is represented by WME, Conway Van Gelder Grant, Omni Artists LTD and Sloan, Offer, Webber & Dern. Hardwicke is represented Curtis Brown and Susannah Norris Agency. Mack is represented by Independent Talent Group. Webster is represented by Curtis Brown. Miles and Brady are represented by Under New Management.