Apple TV+ has confirmed a series order for The Changeling, a drama based on Victor LaValle’s best-selling book of the same name, with LaKeith Stanfield (Atlanta, Judas and The Black Messiah) set to star. Kelly Marcel (Cruella, Venom) wrote the adaptation and serves as showrunner. Queen & Slim helmer and Insecure alum Melina Matsoukas will direct.
The Changeling, from Annapurna and Apple Studios, is a fairytale for grown-ups. A horror story, a parenthood fable and a perilous odyssey through a New York City you didn’t know existed.
In the LaVelle’s book, when Apollo — the role that Stanfield will be playing — and Emma have their baby, Brian, it feels like both a reward and a challenge for the new dad. Apollo, the son of a single mother, had been scraping by as a bookseller who hunts estate and garage sales for rare first editions, so even the unusual circumstance of Brian’s birth (on a stalled subway train) seems like a blessing, as does the way Apollo stumbles across a first edition of To Kill a Mockingbird (inscribed by Harper Lee to Truman Capote, no less) shortly thereafter. But after some young-parent squabbles and inexplicable images on their smartphones foreshadow trouble, the story turns nightmarish.
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Annapurna Pictures acquired the rights to LaValle’s novel in 2017. A year later, a series adaptation, penned by Marcel, was set up at FX for development. At Apple TV+, The Changeling got an informal green light at the start of 2021 when casting of the leads got underway.
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Megan Ellison, Sue Naegle, Patrick Chu, and Ali Krug executive produce on behalf of Annapurna; Matsoukas executive produces through her De La Revolución Films. Stanfield and Marcel also executive produce with Khaliah Neal co-executive producing. LaValle also serves as co-executive producer.
Annapurna’s upcoming TV series include The Staircase at HBO Max and Pam & Tommy at Hulu.
Stanfield is repped by CAA, Colin Stark and Ginsburg, Daniels, Kallis. Matsoukas is repped by CAA, MXN Entertainment and Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman. Marcel is repped by WME, Casarotto and Sloane Offer Weber Dern.
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