British actress Ella Purnell (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Never Let Me Go) will play the lead role of Tess in Starz's half-hour drama Sweetbitter, based on Stephanie Danler's 2016 book, Deadline reported. Emmy winning writer/director Richard Shepard (Girls) has joined the project as executive producer and will direct the series premiere episode. Danler, who wrote the pilot script, and Stu Zicherman (The Americans, The Affair) executive produce along with Plan B Entertainment and Shepard.
"Ella's portfolio of work and the array of her characters and performances in her young career are truly remarkable. We are excited for fans of the book and audiences to meet Tess," said Carmi Zlotnik, Starz president of programming. "We are also excited by Richard's vision to bring the book's richly written sensory experiences from the page to the screen."