Apple Lures Christopher Walken Back to the Small Screen for New Ben Stiller-Directed Series

Christopher Walken Apple TV Credit: Tinseltown / Shutterstock
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Even if you’re not a huge fan of the content that Apple has been producing on its new Apple TV+ streaming service it’s hard to argue with the fact that the company has been able to attract some seriously heavy hitters for its lineup of original movies and television shows.

Perhaps nowhere was this more apparent than the landmark multi-year deals that Apple signed with Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg, both of whom headlined Apple’s original announcement of its new streaming service early last year, but that was really just the beginning.

Apple’s flagship launch series, The Morning Show, was clearly enough to entice Jennifer Aniston to return to television, and it ended up being a breakthrough role, stretching her range into dramatic acting in a way that nobody expected, alongside Reese Witherspoon, who had spent far more time in feature films. In fact, Apple’s deep pockets made these two the highest paid television stars in history.

Since then we’ve also seen landmark deals with Hollywood power hitters like Tom Hanks, Martin Scorsese, and Will Smith, so by now it’s probably not even going to come as all that big of a surprise that Apple has managed to convince yet another Hollywood legend to come to the small screen for an upcoming thriller drama series that could shape up to be another one of its crown jewels.

According to Deadline, Oscar winning actor Christopher Walken has been tagged as one of the leads for Severance, a new series being directed and produced by Ben Stiller that we first heard about almost a year ago.

The casting began with Adam Scott, known for Big Little Lies and Parks and Recreation, and has since been expanded to include Patricia Arquette, and John Turturro, among others, and now it looks like Christopher Walken will be rounding out the cast in a leading role as one of the executives at the enigmatic Lumen Industries — the company around which the plot is centered.

Severance is described as a “workplace thriller drama” that focuses on a company that’s looking to take work-life balance to a whole new level, having developed a “severance procedure” that separates work and out-of-work memories.

Adam Scott will star as Mark, an employee with a dark past who is trying to put himself back together, while Arquette has been cast in the role of Mark’s boss and Turturro as another long-time employee of Lumen Industries. Walken will play Burt, the head of optics and design at the company.

What’s particularly notable here is that this marks the first series-regular role of a long and illustrious career for Walken, almost all of which has been spent on the big screen, where he’s won and been nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor for The Deer Hunter back in 1979.

Severance is expected to actually begin production sometime this month, so it’s likely going to be some time before it actually debuts on Apple TV+, but it’s just another example of how Apple is pulling out all of the stops to make sure that while it may not have the most content, it’s certainly going to aim to have the best.

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