Bestselling novel The Girl Before is being turned into a BBC series

Naomi Gordon
·3-min read
Photo credit: Tommaso Boddi - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tommaso Boddi - Getty Images

From Good Housekeeping

Gugu Mbatha-Raw will star in BBC One's adaptation of JP Delaney's bestselling novel of the same title, The Girl Before.

The Morning Show actress will star opposite acclaimed actor David Oyelowo in the four-part psychological thriller, which follows Mbatha-Raw as Jane, a young woman who is offered the opportunity to move into a beautiful, ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect (Oyelowo).

Jane's life begins to unravel when the house starts to change her in unexpected ways, and she discovers a shocking discovery about the house's former occupant.

Here's what else we know about the thriller below...

The Girl Before: What is it about?

The drama is based on JP Delaney's thriller of the same title, and Delaney will create, write and executive produce the four-part series.

The story follows Jane (Mbatha-Raw) as she stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a stunning, ultra-minimalist house designed by a mysterious architect (Oyelowo) on the condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules.

After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant met an unexplained death there - and as the two women's timelines interweave, she begins to fear that her own story will be a re-run of the woman before.

Author Delaney told the BBC: "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."

The Girl Before cast

Misbehaviour actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw will take the lead as Jane, and also serve as executive producer. "I'm so excited to work with this amazing team on such a compelling story in my debut role as actor/producer," the star said in a recent statement.

Photo credit: Unique Nicole - Getty Images
Photo credit: Unique Nicole - Getty Images

Former EastEnders actress Jessica Plummer - who also starred on last year's I'm a Celebrity - will play Emma, the woman who inhabited Jane's house before her untimely death.

"For her, One Folgate Street's stone walls represent security, safety and renewal. But Emma is hiding a dark secret and, living in the pressure cooker that is One Folgate Street, the truth will out in the end," the BBC has teased.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Golden Globe and BAFTA award-nominee David Oyelowo stars as the enigmatic architect, but little else is known about his character to date. The Selma actor said: "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."

Photo credit: Cindy Ord - Getty Images
Photo credit: Cindy Ord - Getty Images

Fellow EastEnder Ben Hardy will play Emma's partner, Simon, who appears to be besotted by Emma, and worries he may not be good enough her. The beautiful surroundings of house unsettle him further.

When will The Girl Before air?

There is currently no air date for the series, but viewers will be able to watch it on BBC One in the UK, and HBO Max in the US.

The Girl Before will air on BBC One.

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