Jenna Coleman, Billy Howle and Ellie Bamber have been cast in lead roles in The Serpent.

The trio join Tahar Rahim in the Netflix-BBC collaboration, produced by Mammoth Screen.

“The Serpent intoxicated me into the dark seductive world of Charles Sobhraj. I’m so looking forward to delving into hippie trail depths and bringing to life this unfathomable real life story alongside Tahar, Billy, Ellie, Tom, Richard and the wonderful cast and production team for the BBC and Netflix.” – Jenna Coleman

Coleman has taken on the role of Marie-Andrée Leclerc, the partner and accomplice of Charles Sobrhaj, one of the most elusive criminals of the 20th century, to be portrayed in the series by Rahim. 

Howle and Bamber round out the main cast as Herman and Angela Knippenberg.

“When I heard about the story behind The Serpent, I couldn’t believe what I was reading. What an interesting role, in a fascinating story, with a brilliant team behind it – shooting in such a great part of the world, as well. I feel really fortunate to be a part of this project.” – Billy Howle

Sobhraj was the chief suspect in the unsolved murders of up to 20 young Western travellers across India, Thailand and Nepal’s ‘Hippie Trail’ in 1975 and 1976 becoming much sought after by interpol.

When Herman Knippenberg (Howle), a junior diplomat at the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok, unwittingly walks into Sobhraj’s intricate web of crime, he sets off an extraordinary chain of events and consequently seeks to bring Sobhraj to justice for his terrible wrongdoings.

“I’m so honoured to join forces with Billy, Jenna, Tahar and The Serpent’s incredibly accomplished cast and production team. Discovering the Knippenbergs’ story has been every bit as inspiring as it is fascinating.” – Ellie Bamber

The Serpent’s cast also includes Alice Englert, Mathilde Warnier, Gregoire Isvarine, Sahajak Boonthanakit, Fabien Frankel, Chicha Amatayakul, Surasak Chaiyaat, Ruby Ashbourne-Serkis, Armand Rosbak, Ellie de Lange, Ilker Kaleli) and screen newcomer Amesh Edireweera. 

Filming is currently taking place in Thailand on the eight-part crime thriller which will premiere on BBC One in the UK, and on Netflix outside of the UK and Ireland. The Serpent is written by Richard Warlow and Toby Finlay.

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