Justin Theroux to Star in Apple TV+ Series Based on His Uncle’s Novel

"Mosquito Coast," written in 1981 by Paul Theroux, also inspired Peter Weir's 1986 film starring Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, and River Phoenix.
Justin Theroux attends the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis championships, in New York2019 US Open Tennis - Day 9, New York, USA - 03 Sep 2019
Justin Theroux at the U.S. Open tennis tournament
Greg Allen/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Following his first Emmy win, Justin Theroux is returning to serialized television. Never mind that he won the long overdue trophy as an executive producer on “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons'” — the Emmy-winning star of “The Leftovers” (doesn’t that just sound right?) has committed to his next TV series: “Mosquito Coast.”

Ties to the title run deep for Theroux: His uncle, Paul Theroux, wrote the novel on which the new series is based, about an inventor who moves his family to Latin America after getting fed up with American consumerism. But when the stubborn father’s behavior becomes unpredictable and belligerent, their new jungle paradise turns dark.

Neil Cross (“Luther”) is attached as the series’ showrunner, and he’ll write the first episode alongside Tom Bissell (who wrote the novel, “The Disaster Artist”). Rupert Wyatt (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” will direct the pilot and executive produce. Fremantle set up the series with its executive producers Alan Gasmer, Peter Jaysen, and Bob Bookman.

Theroux has been busy since wrapping his last serialized show, “The Leftovers,” in 2017. He’s appeared in feature films like Mimi Leder’s “On the Basis of Sex” and Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi”; voiced characters in “Bumblebee” and “The Lego Ninjago Movie”; and he co-starred in the Netflix limited series, “Maniac,” for which he earned rave reviews, and guest-starred in the Emmy-nominated truTV series, “At Home with Amy Sedaris.” He’ll next be seen in Ilana Glazer’s horror film “False Positive” and heard as the voice of the Tramp in the Disney+ “Lady and the Tramp” remake.

Theroux’s uncle, Paul, wrote “The Great Railway Bazaar” and “The Old Patagonian Express,” in addition to receiving acclaim as a travel writer. “Mosquito Coast” was quickly turned into a major motion picture starring Harrison Ford (as the patriarch and inventor Allie), Helen Mirren (as “Mother”), and River Phoenix as their son Charlie, a 14-year-old who serves as the story’s P.O.V.

No episode count or timeline has been announced as of now. Apple TV+ is scheduled to debut on November 1 with nine original programs, including “The Morning Show” — directed by Theroux’s former “Leftovers” captain, Mimi Leder.

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