ITV and STV team up to produce psychological thriller The Poison Tree

Lead role: MyAnna Buring will play character Karen Clarke in the thriller
Lead role: MyAnna Buring will play character Karen Clarke in the thriller

ITV has teamed up with STV to produce a dark and captivating two-part psychological thriller called The Poison Tree, which will hit screens later this year.

ITV commissioned Scottish broadcaster STV to produce the thriller, which is based on the novel by Erin Kelly, in conjunction with GroupM Entertainment.

Following the themes of betrayal and deception, and looking at the complex issues surrounding human desires, The Poison Tree tells the story of a haunted woman called Karen Clarke, who will go to any lengths necessary to protect her family and the secrets she keeps from them.

The atmospheric thriller sees MyAnna Buring (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Kill List) playing the lead role of Karen, whose character is haunted by flashbacks to the past, telling the back story of an ordinary girl thrown into an extraordinary world.

Meeting the glamorous Biba and her brother Rex in one long summer of love, Karen’s joy quickly turns into a nightmare as she becomes tangled up in their tragic family history.

Other stars confirmed for the thriller include Ophelia Lovibond (No Strings Attached, Mr Popper’s Penguins) who tackles the role of Biba and Matthew Goode (A Single Man, Watchmen) who takes on the character Rex.

The scripts for both episodes, which will go into production this summer and will transmit later this year, are written by Emilia di Girolamo (EastEnders, Law & Order UK). 

Steve November at ITV, said: "We are delighted to be working with STV and Emilia di Girolamo on this intriguing and emotional thriller. Erin Kelly's novel is rich and absorbing and is perfectly suited to ITV."

Margaret Enefer, head of drama for STV Productions, said: “We are thrilled to be bringing this dark and bewitching psychological thriller to life on screen for ITV1.  We’re certain it will grip viewers from start to finish.”   

And Richard Foster, managing director of  GroupM Entertainment added: “Drama financing is an increasingly complex business - it’s an area we’ve been keen to explore in order to help simplify the process and provide benefit to the partners involved. I’m delighted we’re partnering with ITV and STV on a project as exciting as The Poison Tree.”

This is the first drama deal between GroupM Entertainment, ITV1 and STV and will open the door to new funding opportunities for drama.

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