Top image: Still, ‘Stranger Things’ (2018)

Yesterday it was announced that Charlie Heaton, star of Stranger Things and more recently Marrowbone and Shut In, will play Joseph Merrick in the BBC’s new two-part series documenting the tragic tale of The Elephant Man, written by British producer Neil McKay.

The two 90 minute episodes, which will air on BBC One in 2019, will span the duration of Merrick’s life. From his early years in Leicester to his eventual friendship with Dr Frederick Treves who looked after him at the London Hospital before his eventual death in 1890. There’s no shortage of misery in Joseph Merrick’s story, and presumably the production will also cover his freak show tour of Europe, where he was robbed by his manager and abandoned in Brussels, forcing him to return to the sanctity of the London Hospital and the care of Treves.

“I’m extremely excited and honored to be given the opportunity to take on the portrayal of Joseph Merrick in the BBC’s adaption of ‘The Elephant Man,’” said Heaton. “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.”

The role sees Heaton add his name to a long line of prestigious actors to have previously portrayed Merrick, including David Bowie, John Hurt and Bradley Cooper.