LaKeith Stanfield is set to star in and executive produce Apple TV+’s new drama The Changeling. The series is an adaptation of Victor LaValle’s novel of the same name and is described as “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.”
Melina Matsoukas will direct the drama and Kelly Marcel will pen the adaptation and serves as showrunner.
First published in 2017, The Changeling centers on Apollo (Stanfield) whose father disappeared and left him “strange recurring dreams and a box of books stamped with the word ‘Improbabilia.'” And now Apollo is a father himself — and as he and his wife, Emma, are settling into their new lives as parents, exhaustion and anxiety start to take their toll. Apollo’s old dreams return and Emma begins acting odd. Irritable and disconnected from their new baby boy, at first Emma seems to be exhibiting signs of postpartum depression, but it quickly becomes clear that her troubles go even deeper.
Before Apollo can do anything to help Emma, she commits a horrific act — beyond any parent’s comprehension — and vanishes, seemingly into thin air. Thus begins Apollo’s odyssey through a world he only thought he understood, to find a wife and child who are nothing like he’d imagined. His quest, which begins when he meets a mysterious stranger who claims to have information about Emma’s whereabouts, takes him to a forgotten island, a graveyard full of secrets, a forest where immigrant legends still live, and finally back to a place he thought he had lost forever.”
Marcel will also serve as executive producer on the series and Matsoukas will executive produce via her De La Revolution Films banner. Apple Studios and Annapurna will executive produce the series, with Megan Ellison, Sue Naegle, Patrick Chu and Ali Krug acting as executive producers for Annapurna. Khaliah Neal will co-executive produce.
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 but that project never move forward. Now, at Apple TV+, The Changeling got an informal green light at the start of 2021 when casting of the leads got underway.