Apple TV+ announce an order for a new limited event series from Emmy and WGA Award-winning writer Kirk Ellis and Emmy and DGA Award-winning director Tim Van Patten, with Academy, Emmy and AFI Lifetime Achievement Award winner Michael Douglas set to star in the lead role as Benjamin Franklin.
Based on the book “A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America” by Pulitzer Prize winner Stacy Schiff, the new limited event series is a co-production between ITV Studios America and Apple Studios.
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 treaty 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.
The limited event series will be written and executive produced by Kirk Ellis, and directed by Tim Van Patten, who will serve as executive producer alongside Michael Douglas, Richard Plepler through EDEN productions, Tony Krantz through Flame Ventures, and Mark Mostyn. Stacy Schiff will serve as co-executive producer.