Colin Farrell boards Andrew Haigh’s BBC Two series The North Water

Golden Globe-winner Colin Farrell has boarded the BBC Two four-part thriller The North Water, being adapted and directed by multi award-winning Andrew Haigh (Lean On Pete, Looking, Weekend).

Based on the critically acclaimed novel from Ian McGuire, the series will be produced by See-Saw Films for BBC Two and has been commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two.

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Set in the UK and the ice floes of the Arctic in the late 1850s, The North Water tells the story of Patrick Sumner, a disgraced ex-army surgeon who signs up as ship’s doctor on a whaling expedition to the Arctic. On board he meets Henry Drax (Farrell), the harpooner, a brutish killer whose amorality has been shaped to fit the harshness of his world. Hoping to escape the horrors of his past, Sumner finds himself on an ill-fated journey with a murderous psychopath. In search of redemption, his story becomes a harsh struggle for survival in the Arctic wasteland.

Andrew Haigh says: “Casting the right leads is the most important part of any project and I’m thrilled to have Colin Farrell on board. I am a huge admirer of his work and can't wait to see him bring Drax vividly to life.”

See-Saw Films’ COO Hakan Kousetta and Head of Television Jamie Laurenson, say: "The North Water is a thriller, a survival adventure, and searing study of character and man’s place in the world. We are so proud to have the compelling talent of Colin Farrell on board to bring Andrew Haigh’s vision of Ian McGuire’s novel to the screen.”

This gripping and original novel of murder, mystery and survival has topped critic’s lists around the world and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and named A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. The story is being brought to life by See-Saw Films, firmly established for delivering multi award winning mini-series and working with extraordinary writers and directors such as Jane Campion for Top Of The Lake and Top Of The Lake: China Girl.

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says: “Colin Farrell will bring a blend of brutality and humanity to Andrew Haigh’s superb adaptation of this savage novel. The North Water is a brooding and resonant story which is set to grip BBC Two viewers.”

Irish actor Colin Farrell rose to fame in 2003 with his portrayal of Danny Witwer in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report. Since then, Farrell has acted in a wide variety of roles, winning a Golden Globe in 2009 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical for In Bruges. Farrell was also nominated for a Golden Globe in the same category for his performance in the critically acclaimed The Lobster. Recently, he starred in the box office success and Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them and the critically acclaimed The Beguiled and The Killing Of A Sacred Deer. Farrell can be currently seen in See-Saw Film’s Widows directed by Academy Award-winner Steve McQueen and starring Viola Davis. He will also star in Disney’s forthcoming live-action remake of Dumbo.

Filming will begin in this autumn.