Stranger Things star Charlie Heaton will play Joseph Merrick in a new BBC drama.
The BBC has confirmed that Heaton will lead a two-part biopic titled The Elephant Man, which tells the story of Joseph Merrick’s tragic life in Victorian London.
Merrick became world-renowned in 19th century society, after he was placed on display in a London freak show where his significant deformities attracted huge attention.
The drama is set to follow the entirety of Merrick’s life, from his beginnings in Leicestershire until his eventual friendship with Dr Frederick Treves who looked after him at the London Hospital before his eventual death in 1890.
Heaton is the latest in a long line of prestigious actors to have portrayed Merrick – following in the footsteps of prestigious names including David Bowie, John Hurt and Bradley Cooper.
“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”, Heaton said.
“Other interpretations have focused on Joseph in adulthood, but this will take you right back to his childhood and outline just how tragic his life really was”, a source told The Sun.
“It offers a broader understanding of how he came to be the source of so much intrigue, as well as a target for cruel people who wanted to exploit him to make themselves money.”
The biopic, which is written by The Moorside‘s Neil McKay, will shoot in Wales ahead of hitting the small screen next year.