‘Franklin’ First Look: Michael Douglas Takes on Benjamin Franklin in AppleTV+ Series

Douglas transforms into the Founding Father for an upcoming AppleTV+ series co-starring Noah Jupe and Ludivine Sagnier.
Franklin, Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas is taking it back to the 18th century.

The Oscar winner returns to the small screen with the upcoming AppleTV+ series “Franklin,” based on the life of founding father Benjamin Franklin. Douglas takes on the titular role, with the series adapted from Pulitzer Prize winner Stacy Schiff’s book, “A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America.”

The eight-episode drama series delves into how, at age 70 and without diplomat training, Franklin convinced the French monarchy to financially support American independence.

“By virtue of his fame, charisma, and ingenuity, Franklin outmaneuvered British spies, French informers, and hostile colleagues,” the official synopsis reads, “all while engineering the Franco-American alliance of 1778 and the final peace with England of 1783. The eight-year French mission stands as Franklin’s most vital service to his country, without which America would not have won the Revolution.”

“Franklin” additionally stars Noah Jupe, Ludivine Sagnier, Thibault de Montalembert, Daniel Mays, Assaad Bouab, Eddie Marsan, Jeanne Balibar, and Theodore Pellerin.

Kirk Ellis, the writer behind HBO’s “John Adams” series, pens the AppleTV+ series and executive produces. “Franklin” is directed by Tim Van Patten, who also serves as executive producer alongside star Douglas, Richard Plepler, and Tony Krantz.

“When Richard Plepler, Tim Van Patten, and I started talking about possible actors to play Franklin, there was really only one: Michael Douglas. We got lucky, it was like winning the lottery — he said yes,” executive producer Krantz told Entertainment Weekly. “Now Michael’s become the role, transforming his physicality, voice, cadence. And his humor is so much fun. I think people will see one of Michael Douglas’ greatest performances ever in this project.”

Lead star Douglas’ most recent TV role was in the Netflix series “The Kominsky Method,” which aired its final season in 2021. Douglas earned a Golden Globe and three consecutive Emmy nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. Douglas joins the likes of Mandy Patinkin, Tom Wilkinson, Orson Welles, and more actors who’ve portrayed Franklin.

Check out the first look image of Douglas as Franklin above.

“Franklin” does not yet have a release date for its upcoming AppleTV+ premiere.

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