Historical series fans and Michael Douglas fans paths will cross sometime in the future at Apple TV+. The streamer announced today that the two-time Academy Award winner is set to star as none other than Benjamin Franklin in an upcoming limited series. The actor will play one of America’s founding fathers at a late stage in life, a period during which Ben Franklin managed to leave his final mark in American History.
The series is based on the book A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America by Pulitzer Prize winner Stacy Schiff. The book chronicles Franklin’s arrival in France and his risky attempt to engage in the biggest gamble of his career: using his charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent to outmaneuver a horde of enemies into agreeing to forge an alliance in 1783 that made America’s victory in the Revolution possible.
Douglas is one of the most famous Hollywood A-listers in the world. He starred in modern classics such as Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct, and Wall Street, and recently starred in the critically acclaimed Netflix comedy The Kominsky Method, which premiered its third and final season in 2021. Douglas is also part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and will reprise his role as scientist Hank Pym in the upcoming blockbuster Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
The Benjamin Franklin limited series is created and adapted for television by two-time Emmy winner Kirk Ellis, who is no stranger to historical series: he wrote History Channel’s Sons of Liberty, and HBO’s John Adams – an immensely critically acclaimed series that also tells the story of one of America’s founding fathers. John Adams made history after winning thirteen categories at the Emmys, the only miniseries ever to do so.
The upcoming limited series will be directed by Tim Van Patten. The director is also a two-time Emmy winner who has helmed episodes from some of television’s most acclaimed series such as Black Mirror, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, The Pacific, The Sopranos, The Wire, and many others. With this team of award-winning writer and director, and Douglas as a leading star, Apple TV+’s referring to the Benjaming Franklin limited series as an “event” might not be an understatement at all.
Apple TV+ is yet to reveal further information about the Benjamin Franklin limited series, including more cast members, official title, and release date.
Check out the official synopsis here:
The drama will explore the thrilling story of one of the greatest gambles of Benjamin Franklin’s career. At age 70, without any diplomatic training, Franklin convinced France – an absolute monarchy – to underwrite America’s experiment in democracy. By virtue of his fame, charisma, and ingenuity, Franklin outmaneuvered British spies, French informers, and hostile colleagues, all while engineering the Franco-American alliance of 1778 and the final peace with England of l783. The eight-year French mission stands as Franklin’s most vital service to his country, without which America would not have won the Revolution.