The Girl Before: Gugu Mbatha-Raw & David Oyelowo to Star in HBO Max’s New Miniseries
HBO Max and BBC One has officially announced their new partnership with the development of a brand new limited series adaptation of The Girl Before, based on JP Delaney’s global bestselling novel of the same name. The Morning Show actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo have signed on for the leading roles with Emmy nominated-filmmaker Lisa Brühlmann attached to direct. In addition to starring, Mbatha-Raw will also be serving as an associate producer.
“I’m so excited to work with this amazing team on such a compelling story in my debut role as an actor and producer,” Mbatha-Raw said in a statement.
Oyelowo added, “This story is mind-bending in its clever construction and intricacy. I can’t wait to see it, let alone be in it. Plus, I’d go anywhere to work with my friend Gugu again.”
Mbatha-Raw will next be seen in Marvel Studios’ upcoming Disney+ series Loki starring alongside Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson. Meanwhile, Oyelowo will next be seen in Lionsgate’s sci-fi action film Chaos Walking and Searchlight Pictures’ untitled murder mystery film opposite Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan and Oscar winner Sam Rockwell.
The Girl Before is described as a four-part psychological thriller series that tells the story of Jane (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who gets the chance to move into a beautiful, ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect (David Oyelowo). There’s just one catch: occupants have to abide by his list of exacting rules. Jane starts to feel the house changing her in unexpected ways but, when she makes the shocking discovery that her predecessor Emma died in the house, she’s forced to confront unnerving similarities. As the two women’s timelines interweave, Jane begins to question if her fate will be the same as the girl before…
“Having written for the screen in a previous career, it’s long been a dream of mine to adapt THE GIRL BEFORE, but I was determined to only do it if I could find partners who wanted to pursue high-quality, classy storytelling above all else,” Delaney said. “You really couldn’t get a more quality-focused line-up than 42, the BBC and HBO Max – and we’ve already attracted world-class talent in the shape of Lisa, Gugu and David. Psychological thrillers can be even more gripping on television than they would be as movies, and I’m incredibly excited to be re-telling this particular story in a visual medium. It’s also been great fun to collaborate on episodes two and three with a brilliant co-writer, Marissa Lestrade.”
First published in 2016, the novel has sold over one million copies. The series is created, written and executive produced by JP Delaney. Marissa Lestrade has also boarded the project to co-write episodes of the miniseries. Eleanor Moran, Rory Aitken and Ben Pugh for 42, Ben Irving for the BBC, and Lisa Brühlman have also been set as executive producers with Rhonda Smith to produce.
Mbatha-Raw’s film credits include: Larry Crowne, Concussion, Miss Sloane, Free State of Jones, A Wrinkle in Time, Fast Color, and Misbehaviour. She also starred in an episode of Black Mirror titled San Junipero, which earned two Emmy Awards.
Oyelowo is best known for his acclaimed performances in Ava DuVernay’s 2014 film Selma and BBC’s Les Misérables. His other notable film credits include: Queen of Katwe, A Most Violent Year, Captive, Butler, Don’t Let Go, Jack Reacher, and The Paperboy.
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