20 July 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Éanna Hardwicke cast in Paramount+ thriller The Doll Factory; ShinAwiL on board as Irish producer
22 Nov 2022 : Nathan Griffin
Irish cast and crew involved in The Doll Factory.
Filming is currently underway in and around Dublin on new Paramount+ original series The Doll Factory from producers Buccaneer Media with ShinAwiL handling local production, which will continue through to 2023.

Lakelands and Normal People star Éanna Hardwicke has been cast in one of the shows leading roles with the Irish actor taking on role of Silas, a taxidermist. Derry Girls star Saoirse Monica Jackson has also been cast in the supporting ensemble for the new series.

Three time IFTA-winning Irish producer Suzanne McAuley (Magpie Murders, Love/Hate) features as series producer on the project, while IFTA and BIFA-winning Northern Irish director Cathy Brady (Wildfire) is due to direct episodes four and five of the series.

An adaptation of the bestselling novel of the same name by Elizabeth Macneal, The Doll Factory is set in London in 1850 and tells the story of Iris, who paints dolls for a living alongside her twin sister, Rose, and those in their orbit, such as taxidermist Silas, who dreams of finding an item so unique he will be catapulted to fame, and painter Louis, who is searching for his next muse.

When Iris meets Silas, and then Louis, she is offered an opportunity to escape and start a new life. To do so, she must abandon her sister, sacrifice her reputation and launch herself into the unknown. But as Iris’ world expands, a story of dark obsession begins to unfold.

Leading the cast is Esmé Creed-Miles (Hanna) as Iris, Éanna Hardwicke (Normal People) as Silas, Mirren Mack (The Witcher: Blood Origin) as Rose, and George Webster (Wedding Season) as Louis.

Other actors joining the ensemble cast are Pippa Haywood (Bodyguard), Sharlene Whyte (Stephen), newcomer Reece Kenwyne-Mpudzi, Freddy Carter (Shadow and Bone), Laurie Kynaston (The Sandman), Jim Caesar (The Witcher), Akshay Khanna (Chloe), Aysha Kala (The Undeclared War) and Nell Hudson (Outlander).

Buccaneer’s Tony Wood, Anna Burns and Richard Tulk-Hart serve as executive producers on the series. Rising British screenwriter Charley Miles will adapt the series for screen and also serve as executive producer. Sacha Polak (Hanna, Dirty God) will direct the series, which was cast by casting director Julie Harkin (I May Destroy You and Becoming Elizabeth).

Author Elizabeth Macneal will also serve as executive producer on the show, with the original novel becoming a top bestseller in The Times of London and translated into 30 languages.

“We are so excited about the group of people we’ve brought together for this show. Charley and Sacha are an incredible team, and we couldn’t wish for a more talented cast to be bringing to life the characters we love so much,” said Buccaneer’s Head of Production, Anna Burns. “A huge thanks to Paramount+ who we are delighted to be working with again, and to our partners at Cineflix, SBS and TVNZ. Finally, thank you to Elizabeth Macneal, who has been a dream collaborator from the very start.”

Cineflix Rights will be distributing the series internationally and public broadcasters SBS in Australia, while New Zealand’s TVNZ have already pre-bought the historic thriller.

The series was ordered for Paramount+ by Sebastian Cardwell, deputy chief content officer for the U.K. at Paramount. The Doll Factory is among the 150 international original commissions planned for Paramount+ by 2025.

Filming is currently underway in and around Dublin and will run until 2023.

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