J.K. Rowling’s First ‘Casual Vacancy’ Trailer Takes a Dark Turn (Video)

Based on the “Harry Potter” author’s 2012 bestseller, the three-hour BBC and HBO joint production will premiere in the U.K. on Feb. 15

Last Updated: February 3, 2015 @ 8:51 AM

The seemingly idyllic town of Pagford slowly descends into twisted darkness in the first trailer for the BBC-HBO production of “The Casual Vacancy.” Based on the 2012 bestseller by “Harry Potter” series author J.K. Rowling, the story peels back the layers of a sweet, small English town to uncover the struggles and wars faced in everyday life.

The adaptation was a co-production of the BBC and HBO, with each network expected to air the three-hour miniseries in its respective country. BBC has scheduled the first of three installments for Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. HBO has not announced a premiere date.

While the trailer doesn’t give much away as far as the plot goes, it does a remarkable job of transforming from a light-hearted look at a small town into a dark exploration of the secrets and lives that lurk just beneath the surface.

Particularly effective was the trailer’s use of music, which begins with a peppy tone. Toward the end, though, it becomes distorted and falters as it seems to collapse in on itself just as we are witnessing a woman terrified and perhaps terrorized by a hulking man telling her, “You’ve got nowhere else to go.”

Directed by Jonny Campbell from a script by Sarah Phelps, the three-hour miniseries stars Rory Kinnear, Michael Gambon, Keelie Hawes, Simon McBurney, Julia McKenzie, Marie Critchley and Richard Glover. Rowling executive produced alongside Neil Blair, Paul Trijbits and Rick Senat.

Watch the full trailer here.

“The Casual Vacancy” premieres on BBC One in the UK on Feb. 15. HBO has not announced a premiere date for the mini-series.