Apple Studios has struck an exclusive overall deal with Dennis Lehane, the novelist, screenwriter and show runner who is best known for penning works such as “Mystic River” and “Shutter Island.” The pact with Lehane and his production company, Hans Bubby, comes on the heels of the Golden Globe-winning series “Black Bird,” a prison drama that Lehane helped create.
As part of the deal, Lehane will exclusively develop and produce a slate of original series for Apple TV+. The pact also gives Apple a first-look for digital features.
Apple TV+ is set to develop Lehane’s highly anticipated upcoming novel “Small Mercies” as a drama series that will be created and executive produced by Lehane, with Bradley Thomas, Kary Antholis and Richard Plepler serving as executive producers. Set to publish on April 25, 2023, “Small Mercies: A Novel” is billed as an all-consuming tale of revenge, family love, festering hate, and insidious power, set against one of the most tumultuous episodes in Boston’s history. The book has been hailed as “thought provoking,” “engaging” and a “jaw-dropping thriller.”
“Small Mercies,” which Apple recently acquired in an aggressive preemptive negotiation, is Lehane’s first novel in six years. It is set in the housing projects of “Southie” during the long, hot summer of 1974 when the city of Boston attempted to desegregate its public schools, a decision that led to violent conflicts. “Small Mercies” centers on Mary Pat Fennessey, a single mother willing to go up against the deadly local power barons to learn what became of her missing teenage daughter.
The next project on Lehane’s slate is “Firebug,” with Hans Bubby partnering with much of the same producing team behind Black Bird. Taron Egerton is starring and serving as executive producer alongside Richard Plepler through EDEN Productions; as well as Bradley Thomas and Dan Friedkin through Imperative Entertainment. Written by Lehane and inspired by true events, “Firebug” will follow a troubled detective and an enigmatic arson investigator (played by Egerton) as they pursue the trails of two serial arsonists. Kary Antholis was an executive producer, through his company Crime Story Media, with Lehane, Plepler and Thomas on “Black Bird.” “Firebug” is based on a podcast thatAntholis produced with Marc Smerling, through his company Truth Media, and a story that Antholis reported on 30 years ago
Lehane has published twelve novels, four of which were made into movies. A fifth, “The Drop,” began as a Lehane short story adapted by the author into a film starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, and James Gandolfini in his final role. Lehane was a staff writer on the HBO series “The Wire” and also worked as a writer-producer on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” He is represented by Echo Lake Entertainment, CAA, Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency! and Jason Hendler at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Richman, Rush, Kaller, Gellman, Meigs and Fox.