Two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali is set to produce and star in the genre-bending drama Swan Song from Oscar-winning writer-director Benjamin Cleary (Stutterer), it was announced Wednesday by Apple.
A co-production between Apple and Anonymous Content, Swan Song will receive a theatrical release before the film debuts on Apple TV+. Adam Shulman (Defending Jacob) and Jacob Perlin (The Amazing Johnathan Documentary) will produce the film on behalf of Anonymous Content, along with Ali. Production is slated to start this spring.
Set in the near future, Swan Song explores how far someone will go, and how much they’ll sacrifice, to make a happier life for the people they love.
“Benjamin’s script for Swan Song immediately connected with us,” said Matt Dentler, Apple’s head of feature development and acquisitions. “We cannot wait to bring Benjamin’s vision together with Mahershala’s undeniable talent to deliver this powerfully layered story to audiences around the world.”
“Benjamin Cleary is a rare talent who deftly weaves human emotion into his filmmaking in a way that harkens to many of the great films that began at Anonymous Content such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich,” Shulman and Perlin said in a joint statement. “We are tremendously grateful to be working with Mahershala Ali and Ben on this thought-provoking project, that we’re sure will be a conversation starter.”
“I’ve been developing Swan Song for a while and when I sat down with Apple it was immediately clear they completely understood my vision,” added Cleary. “Once Mahershala agreed to join us I knew we had something really special. To be making this movie with Mahershala and Anonymous at Apple is an absolute dream.”
Ali won a pair of Oscars for his supporting turns in Green Book and Moonlight, both of which also won Best Picture. He recently starred in the third season of HBO’s True Detective, and was last seen on the big screen in Alita: Battle Angel. Ali is also set to star in Marvel’s Blade, as well as the sci-fi thriller Sovereign from producer Shawn Levy. He’s represented by WME and Anonymous Content.
Apple’s upcoming films include The Banker starring Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson; Sofia Coppola‘s On the Rocks starring Bill Murray and Rashida Jones; and the award-winning documentary Boys State, which the company acquired out of Sundance.