Apple TV+ is set to launch in just over six weeks, with eight shows ready to go, and a few more coming soon after, but Apple is also still doing everything it can to ensure that it has a steady stream of new content in the pipeline, which is going to be crucial as it works to encourage users to not only sign up for the service, but to stick with it.
According to Variety, Apple has just signed a deal for a new series based on the novel The Mosquito Coast. In an interesting twist, the series will star Justin Theroux, the nephew of Paul Theroux, author of the original novel.
The Mosquito Coast tells the story of a paranoid but brilliant idealist who uproots his suburban family and takes them to live in the Honduran jungle after becoming disillusioned with American materialism. The novel was previously made into a movie in 1986, starring Harrison Ford, Helen MIrren, and River Phoenix, although it’s one of Ford’s lesser-known and more underrated works, as many critics panned it for one-dimensional screenwriting that didn’t live up to the spirit of the original novel, despite the great acting and cinematography that earned it two Golden Globe nominations.
Justin Theroux has appeared on the small screen in the Netflix limited series Maniac and the critically-acclaimed HBO series The Leftovers. He’s also starred in several films including Zoolander, American Psycho, and The Girl on the Train, and worked behind the screen as an executive producer and screenwriter on various projects.
It’s unclear what tone will be set for the series adaptation of the story, however it’s being written by Neil Cross, who was best known for the crime drama series Luther which told the story of a brilliant but violently passionate homicide detective — a character that seems similar to The Mosquito Coast’s protagonist, Allie Fox. Cross will also serve as showrunner and will be writing at least the first episode of the new series.
Apple TV+ is set to launch on November 1st for $4.99/month and at its debut will include See, The Morning Show, Dickinson, For All Mankind, Snoopy in Space, Helpsters, Ghostwriter, and The Elephant Queen. Apple has already released trailers for some of these over the past few months, and in fact Dickinson made its premiere earlier this week at the Tribeca TV Festival.
Apple appears to have four other TV shows and one movie already coming in the weeks after the initial launch, and everything we’ve heard suggests that there’s a lot more in the pipeline beyond that, including a new animated series from the creator of Bob’s Burgers, a TV film adaptation of the novel Shantaram, a CIA drama starring Brie Larson and an epic sci-fi series based on Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy. Plus there’s everything that Apple and Oprah are cooking up.
So based on everything Apple’s already working on, plus the time it takes to turn a show from concept into production, it seems likely that the content deals that Apple is signing now are for projects that we likely won’t see until late next year and beyond. Still, it’s encouraging to see that Apple’s worldwide content division isn’t resting on its laurels and that Apple plans to ensure that it continues to put out compelling new content to draw and retain subscribers.