The Crown star will play Edwin Stanton, Lincoln’s War Secretary and friend, who was nearly driven to madness by the need to catch assassin John Wilkes Booth and to carry out Lincoln’s legacy, in Manhunt, which comes from Friday Night Lights and Fargo writer/producer Monica Beletsky.
Manhunt marks the first series order for Beletsky, who signed an overall deal with the streamer in 2019 and recently renewed the pact.
Based on James Swanson’s book Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer, the series is produced by Apple Studios and co-produced Lionsgate, in association with Lionsgate-owned 3 Arts Entertainment as well as POV Entertainment and Walden Media.
The Apple series is described as part historical fiction and part conspiracy thriller and will center on the aftermath of the first American presidential assassination and the fight to preserve and protect the ideals that were the foundation of Lincoln’s Reconstruction plans.
It also will feature Black historical figures whose lives intertwined with the escape, manhunt and subsequent high-crimes investigation, including Mary Simms, a former slave of the doctor who treated Booth’s injury and gave him safe harbor after his crime.
It is unrelated to the previous Lionsgate-produced series Manhunt, which aired its first season Manhunt: Unabomber on Discovery Channel in 2017 and the second season Manhunt: Deadly Games on Spectrum in 2020.
Beletsky will serve as showrunner and exec producer of the Apple limited series with Mindhunter’s Carl Franklin set as director and exec producer. Layne Eskridge, a former creative executive at Apple, also will exec produce alongside author Swanson as well as 3 Arts’ Michael Rotenberg and Richard Abate and Walden Media’s Frank Smith and Naia Cucukov.
Beletsky is repped by Tara Kole at Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole and Menzies is repped by Conway Van Gelder Grant in the UK and WME in the U.S.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.