Apple Studios is set to produce a new true-crime series for Apple TV + about the hunt for John Wilkes Booth in the wake of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Human hunting was ordered on the streamer from writer / producer Monica Beletsky, with the Emmy Award winner Tobias Menzies set to star as Edwin Stanton, Lincoln’s Secretary of War and loyal friend who goes to great lengths to capture the titular killer.
Human hunting subtracts James SwansonEdgar’s award-winning bestseller Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer, along with other information about Lincoln’s death to make a thriller full of conspiracy and panic. The series will follow Stanton’s desperate search for Booth out of loyalty to his friend and a need to sustain his legacy while his rebuilding plan is underway in the country. At the heart of the investigation is a struggle to keep the former president’s ideals intact – ideals that would eventually be transferred to the current United States. Black historical figures are also an important part of the series, in which Mary Simms, a former slave of the doctor who treated and protected Booth, plays a prominent role in the investigation.
This will be Beletsky’s first series under her recently renewed overall deal with Apple TV +. Talent-wise, the show has gotten off to a promising start. Beletsky himself has been nominated for Emmy, Golden Globe, PGA and WGA awards respectively, while the star of the show, Menzies, got his hardware for the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in Kronen. Carl Franklin, the director of the series, is also Emmy-nominated for his work.
Menzies seems right at home like a star in this season series. Outside Kronen, he played Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall in Starz’s historical drama Outlander and Julius Caesar’s most notorious assassin, Brutus, in HBO’s Rome – an ironic note, considering that he now has the task of playing the hunter of a notorious assassin. He also performed at regular intervals throughout Game of Thrones as Edmure Tully.
Apple Studios and Lionsgate will co-produce Human hunting for Apple TV + in collaboration with POV Entertainment, Walden Media and 3 Arts Entertainment. Swanson will oversee the transformation of his small-screen book as executive producer with Franklin, Layne Eskridge, Michael Rotenberg and Richard Abate for 3 Arts, and Frank Smith and Naia Cucukov for Walden Media.
Apple TV + has not yet announced additional casting options or a release date for the production. We’ll get more here at Collider as more comes out about this new historical drama.
Menzies also discusses why he continues to return to the theater.
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