EXCLUSIVE: Samantha Morton (The Walking Dead) is to lead Paramount+’s Burning Girls alongside Bridgerton star Ruby Stokes, Deadline can reveal.

The show from Marcella producer Buccaneer Media, which is adapted from a C.J. Tudor novel, has entered production and follows a village haunted by a dark and turbulent history.

Morton will play Reverend Jack Brooks, a single parent haunted by a tragedy from her previous church and who bears the onus of her husband’s death. Stokes is her daughter Flo, a teenager who marches to the beat of her own drum. Both arrive in Chapel Croft in the hope of a fresh start, however, they soon find the village rife with conspiracies and secrets.

The thriller was one of Paramount+’s first UK commissions and the streamer has since ordered The Doll Factory, also from Buccaneer, an adaptation of Elizabeth Macneal’s Sunday Times bestselling novel.

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Burning Girls has also set the rest of its cast, with Conrad Khan (Peaky Blinders), Rupert Graves (Sherlock, Emma), Stranger Things star Elodie Grace Orkin, Janie Dee, David Dawson (The Last Kingdom), Paul Bradley (EastEnders), Jane Lapotaire (The Crown, Marie Curie), Jack Roth (Bohemian Rhapsody), Mollie Holder (Sanditon), Safia Oakley-Green (The Origin, Sherwood), Beth Cordingly (Learning to Walk Again) and John Macmillian (House of Dragon) joining Morton and Stokes.

The Walking Dead star Morton is currently featuring in Starz period dramaThe Serpent Queen as Catherine de Medici. Stokes played Francesca Bridgerton in the hit Shonda Rhimes Netflix regency drama, although she has been replaced by Hannah Dodds for season three and will instead lead Netflix’s Lockwood & Co.

“We couldn’t be happier with The Burning Girls cast as we start production this week,” said Buccaneer Media CEO Tony Wood. “The depth of talent is substantial.”

Morton is repped by CVGG, Omni Artists Ltd and Gang, Tyre, Brown & Pass and UTA.

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