Colin Farrell to Play Psychopathic Harpooner in BBC's THE NORTH WATER
Colin Farrell has signed on to a new TV project, and I’m pretty excited about it. It’s an upcoming BBC adaptation of an Arctic whaling novel called The North Water. The novel is by Ian McGuire and was longlisted for the Man Booker prize, so it’s probably pretty good.
Farrell will play Henry Drax, “a harpooner and brutish killer whose amorality has been shaped to fit the harshness of his world, who will set sail on a whaling expedition to the Arctic with Patrick Sumner, a disgraced ex-army surgeon who signs up as the ship’s doctor. 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, who wrote and directed Lean on Pete and 45 Years, neither of which I have seen, is writing and directing the four episode series. I’m not familiar with his previous work, but I really like his choice of project here, so that alone gives me confidence in him. Producers are reportedly “in talks with a number of A-list actors” to take on the role of Sumner. About casting Farrell, Haigh said, “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.”
(That quote made me reimagine Guardians of the Galaxy with Farrell playing Drax the Destroyer instead of Dave Bautista, and it would be weird.)
BBC producer Piers Wenger (actually title Controller of BBC Drama) said, “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.”
Farrell is a pretty fantastic actor, and a psychopathic harpooner seems like a role he could really sink his teeth into. I am seriously optimistic about this project. No word yet on a US distributor, but I’m sure it’ll be on Prime or Masterpiece or something.