So Apple wants to take on Netflix. And Disney. And countless other streaming services. And with $1 billion invested in original content in 2018 (a reasonable price point!) and a captive audience on its devices, we wouldn't count them out of the upcoming "streaming wars." But what original shows and films does Apple have ready for Apple TV+'s November 1 launch? What's in the pipeline? Let's take a look!
'Last Week Tonight' Writer Josh Gondelman Takes Shots, Talks About Working For John Oliver
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Premiere date: November 1 America's favorite reclusive poet, who almost certainly suffered from some kind of mental illness, will receive the quirky comedy treatment in a series which casts Hailee Steinfeld -- of True Grit and, uh, pop music fame -- as Emily Dickinson, and Jane Krakowski as Emily's mother. Expect lots of white dresses and creative license in interpreting the story of a genius who published almost nothing during her lifetime and barely left her house for the last three decades of her life.
The Elephant Queen
Premiere date: October 18 (theatrical), November 1 (Apple TV+) The Elephant Queen is a documentary film about Athena, an elephant-family matriarch and "tusker," i.e., an elephant whose tusks grow long enough to reach the ground. The film chronicles the herd's journey from its "green season" watering hole to its dry season home, a dangerous trek for the youngest of the group. Narrated by Oscar-nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor and directed by Emmy award-winning wildlife documentarians Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble, will get a theatrical release on October 18 before being made exclusively to Apple TV+ at launch.
For All Mankind
Premiere date: November 1 What if the Russians made it to the Moon first, and the space race had never ended? That's the premise of Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore's new Apple+ series, which will star Joel Kinnaman as Edward Baldwin (hmmm, sounds like Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin?), Michael Dorman, Sarah Jones, and Shantel VanSanten.
Premiere date: November 1 A reboot of the '90s children's program of the same name, Ghostwriter tells the story of four kids who get brought together when a ghost beings to haunt their neighborhood bookstore, releasing fictional characters into the real world. Each episode will be focused on a specific literary work, featuring both classics and newer works alike.
Premiere date: November 1 Kids programming will also come to Apple thanks to Sesame Workshop, but not Sesame Street itself. Just Sesame-adjacent content, in this case a show called Helpsters -- they're monsters who help people! These "helpsters" will "help" prepare preschoolers for a lifetime of tech servitude by "teaching them to code" at an early age. Probably more useful than making macaroni art, but do we really want 4-year-olds to become content-producing members of our technocapitalist society? According to Apple, yes, we do! How else will the company dominate the world?
The Morning Show
Premiere date: November 1 When this Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston project was still seeking a title, we suggested Morning Shade, which seems like it took three seconds to come up with instead of the millisecond it took to come up with The Morning Show. That's why we're sitting behind the screen and not developing original shows for Apple. According to Witherspoon and Aniston's presentation at the March 2019 Apple event, The Morning Show will look at gender dynamics in the high-octane world of... morning shows. It's about a morning show. The trailer above seems to suggest the show will take some creative liberties with the Matt Lauer scandal; Steve Carrell joins Witherspoon and Aniston as co-star, and the series has replaced two showrunners.
Oprah's Book Club
Premiere date: November 1 The first of multiple Oprah projects following a deal with Apple, Oprah's Book Club will kick off at launch with a new episode every two months. The series will feature Oprah interviewing the authors of selected books at various locations. Variety reports that the first episode will feature The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates and will be shot in front of a live audience at the Washington D.C. Apple Carnegie Library.
Premiere date: November 1 What if in the future... EVERYONE WERE BORN BLIND? And what if, suddenly, some babies were born who COULD SEE? Those are the tantalizing questions See (for real) asks in a series written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2 director Francis Lawrence. Aquaman Jason Momoa will star with Alfre Woodard, so it's probably worth an exploratory watch.
Snoopy in Space
Premiere date: November 1 Snoopy in Space is the first series to come out Apple's deal to produce all manner of new Peanuts content. A STEM-focused series, it's all about Snoopy trying to realize his dream of becoming an astronaut. After making it to the USS Space Station, he's all set to explore the moon and beyond.
Premiere date: November 22 (theatrical), December TBA (Apple TV+) Director Minhal Baig's film Hala "follows a high school senior struggling to balance being a suburban teenager with her traditional Muslim upbringing." The film was an official selection both at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, and is slated for a theatrical release on November 22. It will reportedly be available on Apple TV+ in December.
Premiere date: December TBA This psychological thriller from twisted director M. Night Shyamalan (who will serve -- get it? -- as executive producer alongside series creator and fellow EP Tony Basgallup) will star Lauren Ambrose, Toby Kebbell, Nell Tiger Free, and Ron Weasley (aka Rupert Grint). It follows a couple's nanny, who is definitely not exactly the person she claims to be. The series will reportedly premiere sometime in December.
Truth Be Told
Premiere date: December TBA This is a show based on the novel Are You Sleeping?, about people obsessed with true-crime podcasts. So. Pick through those layers of meta-media insanity during a bout of insomnia. It's already got plenty of big-name actors on board, including Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul, and Lizzy Caplan playing twins. The series will reportedly premiere sometime in December.
Premiere date: December 6 (theatrical), January TBA (Apple TV+) Directed by George Nolfi and inspired by a true story, The Banker stars Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson as "two African American entrepreneurs who try to circumvent the racial limitations of the 1950s and quietly provide housing loans to the African American community in Jim Crow Texas." The film will debut in theaters on December 6 and will reportedly be available on Apple TV+ sometime in January.
Premiere date: TBA It's a reboot, sure, but they could've maybe revamped the title of this Steven Spielberg-created anthology series a bit for an era crowded with streaming options. It's just not good enough to claim these stories will truly be "amazing," though there may indeed be some pretty good tales spun over the course of a 10-episode season of sci-fi fun. According to Apple's March 2019 event, they have to be the "best stories ever told." Spielberg himself showed up to the event to help announce the new Apple+ streaming app, and he let slip that at least one episode of Amazing Stories will feature a World War 2 pilot. Cool. The entire season, Spielberg promised, will be connected through a single thematic thread -- likely the thread of "amazingness."
Premiere date: TBA The popular bit from The Late Late Show With James Corden is much more than the latest late-night spinoff hungry for eyeballs; it's an EMMY-WINNING TV SHOW that happens to be a late-night spinoff hungry for eyeballs. No concrete word yet as to when it'll hit Apple TV Plus, but the first two seasons are currently available to stream on Apple Music.
Premiere date: TBA Calls originated in France at Canal+ under the direction of Timothée Hochet. Apple's ordered up 10 episodes of this mostly audio horror-esque series, which is not a podcast, so don't call it one!
Premiere date: TBA Ah, something original! Don't get used to it. This animated musical comedy (yep, you read that right) from Bob's Burgerscreator Loren Bouchard already has the green light for two seasons. Hopefully you like musical comedy, Josh Gad (one of the voices), and puns. Also attached are Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci, Titus Burgess, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom, Jr., and Daveed Diggs.
Premiere date: TBA Dads is a documentary film about modern paternity, drawing anecdotes and wisdom from average fathers and celebrities like Jimmy Fallon and Will Smith alike. Apple picked up worldwide distribution rights to the film ahead of its premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. Currently, it doesn't have a set premiere date on Apple TV Plus, also sources told Variety that a theatrical run is potentially on the table.
Premiere date: TBA Back to the old IP. This limited series stars Captain America himself (Chris Evans) in an adaptation of William Landay's crime novel of the same name. Michelle Dockery and Jaeden Martell are set to co-star for the eight-episode run.
Premiere date: TBA False Flag is an English-language adaptation of the Israeli thriller series of the same name. While there aren't any details about how faithful Apple's adaptation will be, the original series tells the story of five ordinary Israelis who wake up to discover that they've been implicated as suspects in a high-profile kidnapping. With their names, faces, and personal information splashed across media worldwide, the Israeli government largely leaves them to fend for themselves. Deadline reported in July that the series is in development, but there are few details past that.
Premiere date: TBA Apple snagged the rights to this series based on an Isaac Asimov short story trilogy of the same name, which means Apple TV+ is placing some big bets on sci-fi. Everyone calls the original narrative "sprawling," so co-writers David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman (both of whom are also working on the upcoming Terminator series) should have their work cut out for them, though Friedman is off the hook as he left the show in April in a pre-planned move.
Premiere date: TBA Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, The Big Sick co-writers and co-authors of a life in love (hahahahaha they're married), created this anthology series about immigrants in America. Nanjiani told the crowd at March's Apple event that this show will tell human stories about immigrants, which could mean just about anything. Hopefully there will be fewer medical disasters than in The Big Sick, because our country is not exactly known for its kind treatment of immigrants with medical disasters.
Premiere date: TBA Do not pitch anything "big" to Apple. In an cruelly ironic twist, this J.J. Abrams-produced musical dramedy, with songs by Sara Bareilles, is set in the Big Apple and is described as “a love letter to the diverse musicality of New York” and an exploration of “the universal journey of finding your authentic voice in your early 20s.” Oh no.
Premiere date: TBA That big New York Times story about how we're all fucked because huge companies ignored climate science in favor of profits and partisan politics has already been scooped up by Apple for development into a series.
The Mosquito Coast
Premiere date: TBA Based off of Paul Theroux's 1981 novel of the same name, The Mosquito Coast is an upcoming drama series from Neil Cross (Luther) and directed by Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes). The series stars Justin Theroux as Allie, an inventor who uproots his family to Latin America. This isn't the first time that the novel has been brought to the screen — Harrison Ford played Allie in the 1986 feature film adaptation.
Premiere date: TBA From A24, Mr. Corman is a "deep cut into the days and nights of a public schoolteacher in the San Fernando Valley." Joseph Gordon-Levitt will write, direct, executive produce, and star as the eponymous Mr. Corman in the half-hour dramedy. Deadline reported in September that a writers room was already up and running producing scripts.
My Glory Was I Had Such Friends
Premiere date: TBA Any time you can use a W.B. Yeats line as the title of your television show, YOU DO IT. Jennifer Garner will star as a woman waiting for her second heart transplant -- she makes it through thanks to (you guessed it) her friends. This one is based on the memoir of the same name, and will have J.J. Abrams as executive producer.
Premiere date: TBA Mythic Quest is a new comedy series from the brains of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia veterans Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Megan Ganz. Ubisoft (yes, the video game development company) is co-producing the series and debuted its first trailer during its E3 presentation earlier this summer. The series follows a group of devs working on the eponymous Mythic Quest, a wildly successful MMORPG on the cusp of releasing its first major expansion. McElhenney stars as Ian Grimm, a gifted creative director with "an ego the size of a bus," alongside F. Murray Abraham, David Hornsby, Charlotte Nicdao, Ashly Burch, Danny Pudi, Jessie Ennis, and Imani Hakim.
On the Rocks
Premiere date: TBA Another A24 Apple project, On the Rocks is an upcoming film starring Bill Murray and Rashida Jones that tells the story of a young mother reconnecting with her playboy father. Sofia Coppola, who previously directed Murray during 2003's Oscar-winning Lost in Translation, is at the helm. The film is the first of many from Apple and A24: the companies inked a multiyear deal that will see A24 produce a number of films for the platform.
Oprah documentary projects
Premiere date: TBA In addition to her upcoming book club series, Oprah is also currently working on two documentary-based projects. There's Toxic Labor, a documentary about sexual assault and harassment in the workplace, and a currently unnamed multi-part series on mental health.
Premiere date: TBA You've seen Jon Favreau direct hyper-realistic, soul-sucking lions. Now, see Jon Favreau direct dinosaurs in Prehistoric Planet, an upcoming documentary series that will use CGI to tell the story of the dinosaur's last days. The series is in partnership with BBC Studios' Natural History Unit, which has previously worked on Planet Earth and Blue Planet.
Planet of the Apps
Premiere date: TBA Do you get it? It's a pun on the movie about an advanced simian civilization that has taken over an Earth destroyed by humans. This one is more like Shark Tank, though, but for apps, and it's already available on Apple Music. Hosts are verified app experts Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow, Will.i.am and Gary Vaynerchuk. The series, which is concluded, currently doesn't have a set premiere date on Apple TV+, although it's currently available in its entirety on Apple Music.
Premiere date: TBA American Hustle writer Eric Warren Singer will write and executive produce this adaptation of Gregory David Robert's novel of the same name, the first two episodes of which will be directed by Justin Hurzel. Hopefully it's more coherent than American Hustle. Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim) was recently cast in the series' lead role.
Premiere date: TBA Former NBA MVP and Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant has long had an interest in diversifying his portfolio with tech investments and his very own media company. This series is based on Durant's early life and will allegedly explore the world of AAU basketball, which if done honestly could lead to a pretty sordid and fun show! We'll see what Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's Imagine Television production company can come up with. There are already character descriptions in a casting call for young actors, and spoiler alert: These kids MUST HAVE INNATE ATHLETIC ABILITY. There's going to be lots of basketball in Swagger, in other words. Apple recently announced that Winston Duke (Black Panther, Us) will star as Ike, a youth basketball coach and former star player. The series is set to go into production in October.
Premiere date: TBA This half-hour series hit a snag when Kristen Wiig backed out, but it's still happening, and it's still presumably inspired by Curtis Sittenfeld's short story collection You Think It, I'll Say It.
Untitled Simon Kinberg and David Weil sci-fi series
Premiere date: TBA Apple reportedly picked up this currently untitled, character-drive sci-fi drama based on two scripts and a show bible written by Kinberg and Weil. Deadline reports that Chad Feehan (Ray Donovan) was brought onto the project as showrunner, but recently left the project, which still seems to be in the script-writing stage.
Premiere date: TBA Another pre-TIFF acquisition, Wolfwalkers takes place in a world in which wolves are seen as demonic creatures that need to be tamed. An apprentice hunter, Robyn, travels to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last back. After meeting a wild girl named Mebh, however, Robyn is exposed to the world of the Wolfwalkers and transformed into the very thing she's trained to destroy. Wolfwalkers is co-directed by Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart. Currently, it doesn't have a set release date.