‘Black Narcissus’ Trailer: Gemma Arterton Is a Nun Caught in a Culture Clash in FX Show

     September 21, 2020


A haunting new trailer for a new adaptation of Black Narcissus has arrived. The three-episode limited series stars Gemma Arterton, Alessandro Nivola, Aisling Franciosi, Jim Broadbent, and the late Diana Rigg (in one of her last on-screen appearances). This is the second time Rumer Godden‘s 1939 novel of the same name has been adapted for the screen. Previously, Deborah Kerr starred in Powell and Pressburger‘s 1947 feature film adaptation.


Image via FX

The trailer for this new Black Narcissus adaptation focuses on building a strong sense of dread as we follow Sister Clodagh (Arterton) and the rest of the Sisters of St. Faith as they move into their new mission in the Himalayas. Settling into a former palace once the site of many sinful activities, Clodagh and the other nuns find their faith tested. They’re also met with opposition at their efforts to bring Christianity to the area as the grip of the British Empire slowly loosens. There’s also some hints the limited series will recreate some of the most memorable moments from the Powell and Pressburger movie, including the moment where one nun stands on the edge of the mission roof and contemplates the abyss below.

Black Narcissus comes from writer Amanda Coe (Apple Tree Yard) and is directed by Charlotte Bruus Christensen (Live by Night). The limited series is produced by DNA TV in association with FX Productions for BBC One and the FX Networks. The series is executive produced by Coe along with Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich of DNA TV, and Lucy Richer, and Ayela Butt for the BBC.

All three episodes of the Black Narcissus limited series will premiere on Monday, November 23 on FX beginning at 8/7c. All episodes will be available the next day on FX on Hulu. Black Narcissus will air on BBC One in December. Watch the official trailer below. For more, find out what’s coming to Hulu in October.

Here’s the official synopsis and poster for Black Narcissus:

Black Narcissus is based on the best-selling novel by Rumer Godden. Mopu, Himalayas, 1934. A remote clifftop palace once known as the “House of Women” holds many dark secrets. When the young nuns of St. Faith attempt to establish a mission there, its haunting mysteries awaken forbidden desires that seem destined to repeat a terrible tragedy.


During the latter years of British rule in India, ambitious young nun Sister Clodagh heads a mission to a remote part of the Himalayas. The palace of Mopu has been donated by General Toda Rai, who hopes the Sisters of St. Faith will rid the “House of Women” of unhappy memories connected to his late sister, Srimati. Although Clodagh ignores the warnings of the General’s raffish agent Mr. Dean, isolation and illness soon take their toll, with the haunting atmosphere of the palace particularly affecting volatile Sister Ruth. As past and present collide, the arrival of the young General Dilip Rai is the catalyst for an explosion of repressed desires that may end in a fatal confrontation.


Allie Gemmill is the Weekend Contributing Editor for Collider. You can follow them on Twitter @_matineeidle.