Apple Inks Deal for ‘Defending Jacob’ Series Starring Chris Evans

Apple has given a straight-to-series order for drama series “Defending Jacob,” which will star Chris Evans, known for his roles in “Captain America” and “The Avengers,” reports Deadline.

“Defending Jacob” is a thriller based on William Landay’s bestselling novel of the same title. The book covers the murder of a 14-year-old boy and his friend Jacob, who may have committed the crime.



According to Deadline, the tv adaptation is described as a “gripping, character-driven thriller.”

The series was created and written by Mark Bomback, known for the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy. Morten Tyldum, known for “The Imitation Game,” “Counterpart,” and “Jack Ryan,” is set to direct.

“Defending Jacob” is just one of more than a dozen television shows Apple has in the works. The first of the TV shows could debut as soon as March 2019, and the content may be distributed through an as-of-yet unannounced streaming service.

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Apple Acquires Rights to Two Films: Documentary ‘The Elephant Queen’ and Animated Cartoon ‘Wolfwalkers’

Apple has acquired the global rights to “The Elephant Queen,” a feature-length documentary about an elephant matriarch who leads her herd in search of a new watering hole to call home, according to Deadline.

Athena is a mother who will do everything in her power to protect her herd when they are forced to leave their waterhole. This epic journey, narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor, takes audiences across the African savannah, and into the heart of an elephant family. A tale of love, loss and coming home.

“The Elephant Queen” was screened Saturday at the Toronto International Film Festival, where top executives from Apple’s Worldwide Video Programming division are believed to be scouting out films. The documentary is directed by award-winning wildlife filmmakers Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble.

Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, two former Sony Pictures Television executives who lead Worldwide Video at Apple, reportedly led negotiations to pick up the documentary from Endeavor Content and Mister Smith Entertainment.

In addition, prior to TIFF, Apple obtained rights to animated film “Wolfwalkers” from Cartoon Saloon and Melusine Productions, according to Deadline. The film, directed by two-time Oscar nominee Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart, centers on a young apprentice hunter named Robyn in a world of superstition.

In a time of superstition and magic, when wolves are seen as demonic and nature an evil to be tamed, a young apprentice hunter, Robyn, comes to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last pack. But when Robyn saves a wild native girl, Mebh, their friendship leads her to discover the world of the Wolfwalkers and transform her into the very thing her father is tasked to destroy.

Bloomberg News first reported about a potential animated film deal between Apple and Cartoon Saloon back in June.



Apple has been steadily expanding its slate of original content in the pipeline, but these deals are particularly notable, as they represent the first two films the company has acquired, complementing nearly two dozen TV series.

Apple is expected to distribute its original content through a new streaming video service, along the lines of Netflix, starting in 2019.

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Apple Video Execs to Scope Out Movies at the Toronto International Film Festival

Apple executives in charge of the company’s video efforts will be attending the Toronto International Film Festival this week to scope out potential movie acquisitions, reports Variety.

The site says that at least one of the top programming executives, which includes Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, will be at the festival to look for new content that could fill out an upcoming entertainment service.



The Toronto International Film Festival is set to kick off on Thursday, September 6, and it will run through Sunday, September 16. This will mark the first time that Apple executives have attended the film festival, and the company will be competing with at least one other TV giant — Amazon. Amazon executives are also going to be attending the festival to look for new movies to pick up.

342 films are set to be shown off at the Toronto International Film Festival, with a list of content available on the website for the festival.

While Apple has more than a dozen original television shows that are in the works, it has thus far established few deals for movies.

In fact, we only know about one potential movie deal with Cartoon Saloon, a company that develops animated movies like “The Secret of Kells,” “The Song of the Sea,” and “The Breadwinner.”

Rumors have suggested that Apple is planning to launch some kind of streaming television service in the future where all of the television shows are in the works will be available, and if Apple is aiming to compete with Netflix and Amazon, exclusive movie offerings will help to fill out its content catalogue.

There has, however, been no concrete information outlining exactly how Apple is going to distribute its original content, nor details on what a potential streaming service could cost if it is in the works, but we may learn more next year as the first of the TV shows is rumored to be debuting in March 2019.

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Jane Krakowski to Star Alongside Hailee Steinfeld in Apple’s Upcoming Emily Dickinson TV Show

Jane Krakowski, known for her roles in “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “30 Rock,” has joined the cast of Apple’s upcoming “Dickinson” series, reports Variety.

“Dickinson,” which Apple ordered back in May, is a half-hour show about the life of poet Emily Dickinson, who will be played by Hailee Steinfeld.

Also a musician, Steinfeld is known for her roles in “True Grit,” “Pitch Perfect 2,” “Pitch Perfect 3,” “Ender’s Game,” and coming of age film “Edge of Seventeen.”

Krakowski is joining “Dickinson” to play Mrs. Dickinson, Emily’s mother. In addition to “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “30 Rock,” Krakowski has also worked on “Ally McBeal, “Alfie,” “Ice Age,” and “National Lampoon’s Vacation.”

“Dickinson” has been described as a comedic look into Emily Dickinson’s world that explores the constraints of society, gender, and family from the perspective of a budding writer who doesn’t fit into her own time.

For those unfamiliar with Emily Dickinson, she was a prolific American poet known for short lines, slant rhymes, and irregular use of punctuation. Much of her work focused on death and immortality, and she was known for living a reclusive life.

The show is being written and executive produced by Alena Smith, who was previously a writer on “The Affair” and “The Newsroom.” David Gordon Green, known for “Stronger,” Red Oaks,” “Vice Principals,” and “Pineapple Express” will direct.

“Dickinson” is just one of more than a dozen television shows Apple has in the works. Several of the shows are now in the casting stages, including an untitled space drama from Ronald D. Moore that will star Joel Kinnaman, “Are You Sleeping” starring Octavia Spencer, world-building drama “See” that will star Jason Momoa, and a series based on child journalist Hilde Lysiak starring Brooklynn Prince.

Rumors have suggested that we’ll see the first of Apple’s television shows debut in March 2019. It’s not yet entirely clear how Apple plans to distribute the TV shows, but given the sheer number of different shows in the works, it’s likely Apple plans to introduce a new streaming service based on its original content.

According to a June report from The Information Apple is considering building a bundle that would include access to original TV content, Apple Music, and news and digital magazines for one monthly fee.

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Apple Gives Straight to Series Order to Drama Based on Isaac Asimov’s ‘Foundation’ Novels

Apple has followed through with plans to create a television series based on Isaac Asimov’s famous Foundation novels and has recently given a straight to series order for the show, reports Deadline.

Apple first inked a deal for the TV series adaptation of Foundation back in April, but the show was still in development at that time.

The Foundation TV series is being developed by Skydance, with David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman serving as executive producers and showrunners. Goyer has previously worked on “The Dark Knight,” “Batman Begins,” Ghost Rider,” and more, while Friedman is known for “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” and “Emerald City.”

Foundation is Isaac Asimov’s most popular and well-known science fiction series, which includes titular novel Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation, along with additional books Foundation’s Edge and Foundation and Earth.

The series follows psychohistory expert and mathematician Hari Seldon who is able to predict the future. Seldon creates a group called the Foundation to preserve humanity’s collective knowledge ahead of the impending fall of the Galactic Empire. The novels span many years and cover the rise and fall of multiple empires, making it an ambitious television project.

In addition to the Foundation series, Apple has more than a dozen TV shows in development in total, and rumors have suggested we could see the first of these debut starting in March of 2019. For a full list of what Apple’s working on, make sure to check out the original content section of our Apple TV roundup.

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Apple’s Upcoming Drama Based on Child Journalist Hilde Lysiak Gains Lead Actress

Child actress Brooklynn Prince has been cast in the lead role of Apple’s upcoming drama series that’s based on the life of young journalist Hilde Lysiak, reports Deadline.

Eight-year-old actress Prince is known for playing Moonee in “The Florida Project,” and she is currently working with Angelina Jolie and Sam Rockwell on “The One and Only Ivan.”



The upcoming TV show, which will be Prince’s first, follows a young girl who moves from New York to the small lakeside town her father is from, where she unearths a murder case everyone else in the town had attempted to bury.

The show is based on real-life child journalist Hilde Lysiak’s efforts to report on a murder in Selinsgrove, which led to her being the first on the scene to report it. Lysiak’s paper, the Orange Street News, has since earned her national and international media attention.

Apple has ordered 10 episodes of the series, created and executive produced by Dana Fox and Dara Resnik. Fox is known for her work on “Ben and Kate,” “How to Be Single,” and “Couples Retreat,” while Resnik has worked on “Castle,” “Shooter,” and Mistresses.”

Apple has more than a dozen television shows in the works, with a full list available in the original content section of our Apple TV roundup.

Several other shows are currently in the casting stages, including an unnamed space drama developed by Ronald D. Moore, a futuristic epic world-building drama called “See,” and “Are You Sleeping,” a drama based on a murder case reopened by a podcast.

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Apple’s Upcoming Sci-Fi Series From Ronald D. Moore Casts Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman, and Sarah Jones

One of Apple’s upcoming television shows is an unnamed sci-fi series from Battlestar Galactica developer Ronald D. Moore, which is currently in the casting stages.

According to Variety, several actors and actresses have inked deals to star in the show, which has been described as a series that will explore what would have happened had the global space race never ended.

Image via Variety


Joel Kinnaman has signed on to play Edward Baldwin, a top NASA astronaut, while Michael Dorman and Sarah Jones will play Gordo and Tracy Stevens, a prominent NASA couple.

Kinnaman previously played Takeshi Kovacs in “Altered Carbon,” along with Will Conway in “House of Cards.” He’s also known for roles in “Easy Money,” “Suicide Squad,” and “RoboCop.”

Michal Dorman has been in “Patriot” and “Wonderland,” while Sarah Jones has starred in “Damnation,” “The Path,” and “Alcatraz.”

The show was created and written by Moore along with “Fargo” co-executive producers Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi. Moore is known for his work on shows like Battlestar Galactica,” “Caprica,” “Helix,” and “Outlander.”

Apple has more than a dozen original TV shows in the works, several of which are at the point where actors are being cast ahead of filming. Details on all of the shows that Apple has picked up can be found in the original content section of our Apple TV roundup.

Rumors have suggested the first of Apple’s TV shows could potentially launch in March 2019, perhaps through an upcoming streaming television service.

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Apple Picks Up New Video Game Comedy From Charlie Day and Rob McElhenney

Apple gave a straight to series order for a half-hour scripted comedy show created by Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day, reports Variety. The show is said to be set in a video game development studio.

Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day are best known for popular comedy show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” which the duo have starred in since 2005 alongside Glenn Howerton, Kaitlin Olson, and Danny DeVito.



McElhenney and Day will write and executive produce the series, and McElhenney is set to be one of the show’s stars.

Apple has inked deals for more than a dozen TV shows, including several other comedy shows. A “You Think It, I’ll Say It” TV show based on Curtis Sittenfield’s short story collection is in development, as is “Central Park,” an animated series developed by Loren Bouchard.

A full list of all of the TV shows that Apple has in development is available in the Original Content section of our Apple TV roundup.

Rumors suggest the first of Apple’s TV shows could debut in the spring of 2019, with Apple perhaps planning to distribute them via a new streaming service.

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