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.
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.
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.