Gugu Mbatha-Raw is set to star in a different kind of haunted house thriller. The Morning Show star is set to star opposite David Oyelowo in The Girl Before, a new HBO Max limited series co-produced by BBC One that follows a young woman who gets trapped in a house designed by Oyelowo’s architect.
HBO Max and BBC One are teaming up to co-produce the psychological thriller The Girl Before, based on JP Delaney‘s bestselling book of the same name, which will star Gugu Mbatha-Raw as a young woman who gets trapped in a beautiful house by its enigmatic architect played by David Oyelowo. Emmy-nominated Killing Eve director Lisa Brühlmann will helm the series.
Here is the logline for The Girl Before:
THE GIRL BEFORE 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…
Mbatha-Raw and Oyelowo are both two acting dynamos who seem like a great onscreen pairing, with Oyelowo getting to flex his chops as the villain of the piece. The pair had worked together before in The Cloverfield Paradox, though hopefully this limited series will leave more of an impact than that last team-up (which I had forgotten they had both starred in until just now). Mbatha-Raw will also mark her first time as a producer with The Girl Before, as associate produce on the series.
“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. Added Oyelowo, “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.”
The Girl Before is based on the 2016 novel by JP Delaney, who creates, executive produces the series, and co-writes the episodes with Marissa Lestrade (White Stork). Delaney said in a statement, “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. 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.”
Also executive producing The Girl Before are Eleanor Moran, Rory Aitken and Ben Pugh for 42, Ben Irving for the BBC, and Lisa Brühlmann. Rhonda Smith will produce and Gugu Mbatha-Raw is an associate producer.
The Girl Before will stream in the U.S. on HBO Max and will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the U.K. No premiere date has yet been set.
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