- HBO Max and BBC One will co-produce the psychological thriller THE GIRL BEFORE, a four-episode limited series based on the global bestselling book of the same name, from 42 starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“The Morning Show,” “Misbehaviour”) and Golden Globe®, BAFTA, and Emmy®-nominated actor David Oyelowo (“Selma,” “Les Misérables”). Emmy nominated Lisa Brühlmann (“Killing Eve,” “Servant,” “Blue My Mind”) will direct.
- Logline: 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…
- Jeniffer Kim, senior vice president, International Originals, HBO Max quote: “We jumped at the chance to co-produce JP Delaney’s intricate mind twister, THE GIRL BEFORE, with the BBC and 42. With what will surely be stellar performances from the incomparable Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Oyelowo, One Folgate Street is about to welcome new house guests from both sides of the pond.”
- Gugu Mbatha-Raw quote: “I’m so excited to work with this amazing team on such a compelling story in my debut role as an actor and producer.”
- David Oyelowo quote: “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.”
- JP Delaney quote: “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.”
- Lisa Brühlmann quote: “Can our surroundings, like a special house, affect who we are, even change us? The ability to change our beliefs and our character is highly fascinating to me. I can’t wait to bring this female driven thriller to life.”
- Eleanor Moran and Rory Aitken, executive producers for 42 quote: “We’re thrilled to have the chance to bring JP Delaney’s adaptation of his unforgettable bestseller to the small screen. Gugu Mbatha-Raw always brings such emotional complexity to her roles, and having an actor as accomplished as David Oyelowo as her co-lead is a dream come true. Lisa Brühlmann’s singular vision will add a whole other layer to the show. We can’t wait to introduce a global audience to the extraordinary secrets hidden behind the walls of One Folgate Street.”
- Piers Wenger, director of BBC Drama quote: “The scripts JP Delaney has prepared for THE GIRL BEFORE are just as addictive and unputdownable as his riveting novel. To have Gugu and David leading the cast, Lisa Brühlmann directing and Marissa Lestrade co-writing episodes really underlines the quality of this production and I can’t wait to see One Folgate Street on screen.”
- The limited series will stream in the U.S. on HBO Max and will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK, with WarnerMedia also controlling rights for additional select territories around the world.
- A global bestseller, “The Girl Before” has sold over one million copies since its publication in 2016. It is published by Quercus in the UK and Ballantine in the U.S.
- Credits: Created, written and executive produced by JP Delaney, THE GIRL BEFORE is adapted from Delaney’s own best-selling novel of the same title. Additional executive producers include 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. Marissa Lestrade (“White Stork,” “Deep State 2”) will co-write episodes of the series. ITV Studios is the international distributor and brokered the co-commission deal with HBO Max.
- About Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Gugu Mbatha-Raw is an award-winning actor of the stage and screen. Her stage performances include “Hamlet,” alongside Jude Law in the West End, “Elsinore” in Denmark and Broadway, and “Nell Gwynn,” for which she was nominated for ‘Best Actress’ at the 2015 Evening Standard Theatre awards.
In film, Gugu has starred in “Larry Crowne” alongside Tom Hanks, as well as the period drama, “Belle,” for which Gugu won Best Actress at the 2014 BIFA Awards. She has also starred in “Concussion,” alongside Will Smith, “The Whole Truth,” starring Keanu Reeves and Renée Zellweger, “Miss Sloane” with Jessica Chastain, “Free State of Jones” with Matthew McConaughey and “Beauty and the Beast.” Additional roles include Disney’s ground-breaking blockbuster fantasy, “A Wrinkle in Time,” opposite Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon, “Cloverfield Paradox,” Stephanie Laing’s “Irreplaceable You,” “Fast Color,” “Motherless Brooklyn,” “Come Away,” “Misbehaviour” and “Summerland.”
In television, Gugu starred in “San Junipero,” an episode from the critically-acclaimed Netflix anthology series, “Black Mirror,” which won two Primetime Emmy® Awards. Gugu also starred in the fan favorite and award-winning Apple TV+ drama series, “The Morning Show.” Upcoming TV projects include “Seacole,” Marvel’s “Loki” on Disney+ opposite Tom Hiddleston, and “Surface,” an eight-part series written by Veronica West, which Gugu will also co-produce alongside Reese Witherspoon.
Outside of her acting credits, Gugu has recently become a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador.
- About David Oyelowo
David Oyelowo, a multiple Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Emmy-nominated actor and producer, is one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents. Oyelowo recently made his directorial debut with “The Water Man,” which premiered at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival to much critical acclaim, and will be released day-and-date in theaters and PVOD on May 7, 2021 by RLJE Films in the U.S., and by Netflix internationally later this year. Oyelowo stars alongside Lonnie Chavis and Rosario Dawson, as well as produces under his Yoruba Saxon banner with ShivHans Pictures and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films. This is the sixth film to be produced by his production company, Yoruba Saxon, along with prior films: “Come Away,” “A United Kingdom” and “Nightingale,” amongst others. Oyelowo can currently be seen in George Clooney’s “The Midnight Sky,” which was one of the most-watched titles on Netflix during the holidays and is on course to be watched by 72M households within its first four weeks. Next, he will be seen in Lionsgate’s “Chaos Walking” with Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland, as well as, Sony’s “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway” with Rose Byrne and Domhnall Gleeson, both being released this year. Oyelowo is presently in production on Searchlight Pictures untitled murder mystery thriller, in which he stars alongside Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell.
Additional film credits include: “A United Kingdom,” “Queen Of Katwe,” “Selma,” “Interstellar,” “A Most Violent Year,” “Captive,” “The Butler,” “Lincoln,” “Don’t Let Go,” “The Middle of Nowhere,” “Jack Reacher,” “The Paperboy,” “Red Tails,” “The Help” and “The Last King Of Scotland.”
- About 42
42 is a London and LA-based management and production company. Established in 2013, 42 produces films and television dramas, and represents an eclectic range of high-profile and emerging talent. 42’s television credits include the Emmy-award-winning animated miniseries “Watership Down” (BBC/Netflix), adapted by Tom Bidwell; Bash Doran’s spy thriller “Traitors” (C4/Netflix), starring Emma Appleton and Keeley Hawes; and “Wild Bill” (ITV) starring Rob Lowe. 42’s drama about the birth of football, “The English Game,” written and created by Julian Fellowes, is currently available on Netflix.
The company released “Military Wives” starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan in the UK and globally last year, and next up is Cold War thriller “The Courier” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel Brosnahan. Sci-fi action adventure “Outside The Wire,” starring Anthony Mackie and Damson Idris, recently opened on Netflix as its Number One film globally. Also for Netflix is Adam Randall’s “Night Teeth,” in post-production. The company is producing “The Silent Twins,” starring Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrence, which will start shooting later this month.The company has a multi-year first-look development, financing and production deal with MGM for television. On the film side, 42 has a multi-year first-look development, financing and production deal with Netflix.