Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

CBC, Netflix to screen miniseries based on Margaret Atwood novel Alias Grace

Author Margaret Atwood is pictured in Toronto on June 9, 2015.

Darren Calabrese/THE CANADIAN PRESS

A miniseries based on Margaret Atwood's novel "Alias Grace" will screen on CBC and Netflix.

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sarah Polley is writing and producing the six-hour project, which will begin shooting in Ontario in August. Mary Harron will direct.

The story is inspired by the real-life murder case involving Grace Marks, an Irish immigrant and maid in Upper Canada.

Story continues below advertisement

She and stable hand James McDermott were convicted of the murders of their employer, Thomas Kinnear, and his housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery, in 1843.

McDermott was hanged while Marks was sentenced to life imprisonment. After 30 years in jail, she was exonerated.

Polley says in a statement that she first read "Alias Grace" when she was 17 years old and has read it many times over the last 20 years.

"Grace Marks, as captured by Margaret Atwood, is the most complex, riveting character I have ever read," she says. "I'm thrilled that Mary Harron has taken the project on.

"I know that her ability to create suspense, tension, and delve into the dark, unknowable aspects of her characters will bring this piece alive. I can't wait for us to bring the many versions of Grace's gripping story, and the questions they raise, to television audiences."

Report an error
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles as we switch to a new provider. We are behind schedule, but we are still working hard to bring you a new commenting system as soon as possible. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.