"Stranger Things" star Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers) is ready to show his range. He's taking on the role of Joseph Merrick, aka "The Elephant Man," in a two-part BBC drama.
According to Variety, the two 90-minute episodes will air on BBC One in 2019. The episodes would presumably find their way across the pond to the U.S. via PBS or maybe a streamer.
Joseph Merrick lived only 27 years, from 1862 to 1890; his serious facial and body deformities were often exhibited at "freak shows" before he came to live at London Hospital.
This new adaptation of "The Elephant Man" will film in Wales, following Merrick’s life from his working-class beginnings, through the workhouses, music halls, and freak shows, to his time at the London Hospital and his friendship with Dr. Frederick Treves.
BBC Drama boss Piers Wenger said the adaptation would "shed new light on this story, bringing greater depth and humanity to it than ever before."
Charlie Heaton shared a statement on his casting:
"I’m extremely excited and honored to be given the opportunity to take on the portrayal of Joseph Merrick in the BBC’s adaption of ‘The Elephant Man.' This is such a special role and a challenge for any actor. Joseph has such an incredible story, and I can’t wait to go on this journey and bring him to life."
Joseph Merrick was recently played on London's West End stage by Bradley Cooper. The 1980 film "The Elephant Man," directed by David Lynch, earned eight Oscar nominations, including Best Actor for John Hurt.
Charlie Heaton will also be seen in "The New Mutants," which is currently scheduled for release in theaters August 2, 2019. He'll also return as Jonathan Byers in "Stranger Things" Season 3, which is set to stream on Netflix in summer 2019.
Want more stuff like this? Like us on Facebook.
Dr. Frederic Treves (Anthony Hopkins) discovers Joseph (John) Merrick (John Hurt) in a sideshow. Born with a congenital disorder, Merrick uses his disfigurement to earn a living as the "Elephant Man." Treves brings Merrick into his home, discovering that his rough exterior hides a refined soul, and that Merrick can teach the stodgy British upper class of the time a lesson about dignity. Merrick becomes the toast of London and charms a caring actress (Anne Bancroft) before his death at 27. Read More