Michael Douglas stars in Apple TV+’s Franklin

Michael Douglas stars in Apple TV+’s Franklin

By Michael Pickard
February 6, 2024

First Look

FIRST LOOK: Here’s Michael Douglas as Benjamin Franklin in Apple TV+’s historical drama Franklin, which will debut this April.

The eight-part series also stars Noah Jupe in a series based on Stacy Schiff’s book A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France and the Birth of America.

The story explores what is said to be the greatest gamble of Benjamin Franklin’s career. Opening in December 1776, he is world famous for his electrical experiments, but his passion and power are put to the test when — as the fate of American independence hangs in the balance — he embarks on a secret mission to France.

At age 70, without any diplomatic training, Franklin convinced an absolute monarchy to underwrite America’s experiment in democracy. By virtue of his fame, charisma and ingenuity, Franklin outmaneuvered British spies, French informers and hostile colleagues to engineer the Franco-American alliance of 1778 and the peace treaty with England in 1783.

The eight-year French mission stands as Franklin’s most vital service to his country, without which America could not have won the Revolution. Diplomats and historians still regard it as the greatest single tour of duty by an ambassador in our nation’s history.

Jupe (pictured above with Douglas) plays Temple Franklin, with Thibault de Montalembert as Comte de Vergennes, Daniel Mays as Edward Bancroft, Ludivine Sagnier as Madame Brillon, Eddie Marsan as John Adams, Assaad Bouab as Beaumarchais, Jeanne Balibar as Madame Helvetius and Theodore Pellerin as Marquis de Lafayette.

Douglas is an executive producer and joins a creative team that also includes writer and executive producer Kirk Ellis (John Adams) and writer and executive producer Howard Korder (Boardwalk Empire). Tim Van Patten (Masters of the Air, The Sopranos) is director and executive producer.

Richard Plepler produces through his EDEN Productions, Tony Krantz through Flame Ventures, while Philippe Maigret and Mark Mostyn also executive produce. Stacy Schiff is a co-executive producer. Franklin is a coproduction between ITV Studios America and Apple Studios.

Franklin will debut on April 12.

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