Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Oyelowo to Star in ‘The Girl Before’ TV Adaptation at HBO Max

J.P. Delaney's psychological thriller marks Mbatha-Raw's first project as a producer and star.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Chelsea Lauren/Variety

HBO Max is getting an adaptation of J.P. Delaney’s bestsellling “The Girl Before” novel.

WarnerMedia announced on Tuesday that HBO Max and BBC One will co-produce the project as a four-episode limited series starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Beyond the Lights”) and David Oyelowo (“Selma”). The upcoming project, which is billed as a psychological thriller, will be directed by Lisa Brühlmann who’s previously helmed episodes of “Killing Eve” and “Servant.”

Per HBO Max:

“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 (played by 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.

“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,” Oyelowo said in a statement, referencing the duo’s past collaboration in “The Cloverfield Paradox.”

“I’m so excited to work with this amazing team on such a compelling story in my debut role as an actor and producer,” Mbatha-Raw said in a statement.

Delaney’s novel was released in 2016 and has sold over 1 million copies. The author will serve as creator, writer, and executive producer on the series adaptation. Additional executive producers include Eleanor Moran, Rory Aitken, and Ben Pugh for 42, Ben Irving for the BBC, and Brühlmann. Rhonda Smith will produce and Mbatha-Raw is an associate producer. Marissa Lestrade (“White Stork,” “Deep State 2”) will co-write episodes of the series.

“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,” Delaney said in a statement. “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.”

Mbatha-Raw will next be seen in the Disney+ original series “Loki.” Oyelowo, who was Emmy-nominated for his role in the HBO film “Nightingale,” has the films “Chaos Walking” and “Peter Rabbit 2” expected in 2021.

Daily Headlines
Daily Headlines covering Film, TV and more.

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

PMC Logo
IndieWire is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 IndieWire Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.