Apple is finalizing an eight-episode order for a drama series starring Richard Gere. The project, from Howard Gordon (24) and Warren Leight (Law & Order: SVU), is based on the Israeli series Nevelot and hails from Fox 21 Television Studios, Gordon’s 20th TV-based Teakwood Lane Prods. and Keshet Studios.
Written by Gordon and showrun by Gordon and Leight, the untitled series centers on two elderly Vietnam vets and best friends — one of whom is played by Gere — who find their monotonous lives upended when a woman they both loved fifty years ago is killed by a car. Their lifelong regrets and secrets collide with their resentment of today’s self-absorbed millennials, and an act of self-defense snowballs into a tragic series of events.
Executive producing the series are Gordon, Leight, Gere, Dror Sabo, Lee Yardeni, Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Rachel Kaplan, Peter Traugott, Yoram Mokady and Mirit Toovi.
The project was referenced by Gordon’s agent, WME’s Rick Rosen, during a Q&A on Tuesday.
Both Gordon and Leight have experience with successful U.S. adaptations of Israeli series. Gordon co-created and executive produces Showtime’s Homeland — also produced by Fox 21 and exec produced by Keshet’s Nir — while Leight was executive producer/showrunner on HBO’s In Treatment.
Nevelot (Hebrew for Bastards) was created by Dror Sabo with Daphna Levin and Lee Yardeni. Produced for the Israeli cable network HOT, the 2010 series was based on Yoram Kaniuk’s novel ‘Nevelot’.
An U.S version was previously set up for development at HBO in 2015 with a different creative team, Sony TV, Happy Madison, Alan Poul and playwright Branden Jacobs Jenkins.
Gere recently signed on for his first major TV series role on BBC’s MotherFatherSon.
The deal was brokered by WME on behalf of Keshet Studios, Gordon (and attorney Michael Gendler), Gere (and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof and Fishman) and Leight.