Future Islands frontman Samuel T. Herring has been cast opposite LaKeith Stanfield in The Changeling, Apple TV+’s upcoming drama series based on Victor LaValle’s bestselling book of the same name. The role marks Herring’s acting debut. Adina Porter and Clark Backo also star in the drama from Annapurna and Apple Studios.
Written and adapted by Kelly Marcel (Cruella, Venom), The Changeling 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.
Stanfield stars as Apollo, a passionate rare book hunter. Herring plays William Wheeler, a man who befriends Stanfield’s Apollo in a quest to win back his wife and children. Porter plays Apollo’s mother, Lillian, and Backo is Emmy, Apollo’s wife.
In LaValle’s book, when Apollo 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.
Marcel wrote the adaptation and serves as showrunner and executive producer. Queen & Slim helmer and Insecure alum Melina Matsoukas will direct. 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.
Herring is best known as the enigmatic frontman of Baltimore synth pop band Future Islands. The band came to national prominence in 2014 with their fourth album Singles released by 4AD. Its lead single “Seasons (Waiting on You)” was named the best song of 2014 by Pitchfork and NME.
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