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(Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly)

Chances are when you hear the name Emma Thompson, you think of cosy dramas like Howards End, Sense and Sensibility, and Saving Mr Banks, or kids’ films like Nanny McPhee and Harry Potter.

You don’t really think of death, pestilence and terror, though that might be about to change, as Deadline reports Emma is hard at work on a horror thriller series called Harrow Alley for HBO.

It is at least a period piece, which puts Emma on familiar ground. Set in 17th century England, it tells the story of two men, a “likeable but lawless rogue” called Ratsey and a “well-meaning alderman” called Harry, as they both struggle to survive the black plague when it reaches their town. The script has been floating around Hollywood for over 50 years, after the Oscar-nominated screenwriter Walter Newman (Ace in the HoleCat Ballou) wrote it in the 1960s, with Oscar winner George C. Scott (Patton) set to star.

The film was never made, reportedly on account of its “dark subject matter” and the big budget it required. The Huffington Post even went so far as to call it the “greatest screenplay never made.”

Enter, HBO. Emma has apparently been working to get the script developed since the early 2000s, but will now be able to make it a reality after partnering with Bad Wolf (nope, not that Bad Wolf), the production company behind crime drama The Night Of and the upcoming adaptations of His Dark Materials and A Discovery of Witches.

It’s still early days, but we think it has all the ingredients to be a really exciting new show.

Do you like the sound of Harrow Alley?

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Filed Under: Emma Thompson
By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.