Rowan – who played Bonnie Gold in the gangster drama – will star as main character Callum in the story of first love in an alternate world where Africans enslaved Europeans, rather than the other way round.
This story of a segregated society set in 21st Britain also stars newcomer Masali Baduza as Sephy, a ‘Cross’ (member of the black ruling class) and daughter of a prominent politician.
Although a ‘Nought’ (part of the white underclass), Callum is a childhood friend of Sephy’s, a relationship that becomes more complicated as the two age.
The drama, based on Malorie Blackman’s book of the same name, is also set to star Paterson Joseph (Johnson from Peep Show) playing Sephy’s father and Home Secretary Kamal Hadley.
Plus, Helen Baxendale (Emily from Friends and Rachel from Cold Feet) and Ian Hart (Professor Quirrell from Harry Potter) will play Callum’s parents Meggie and Ryan. Josh Dylan (Young Bill from Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) will play his older brother Jude.
Shaun Dingwall (Pete Tyler from Doctor Who) also plays Liberation Militia leader Dorn and Bonnie Mbuli (Wallander) plays Sephy’s mother Jasmine.
The six-part series is written by Toby Whithouse (Doctor Who), Lydia Adetunji (Riviera), Nathaniel Price (Tin Star) and Rachel De-Lahay (Kiri).
Blackman said she was “thrilled” by the cast, and added: “It will be so exciting to see how the writers and actors open up the world I created, adding new breadth and detail.”
There’s no air date for the drama yet, but filming for Noughts and Crosses is now underway in South Africa.