Justin Theroux has signed on to star in The Mosquito Coast for Apple TV+. This casting isn’t particularly surprising considering that his uncle, Paul Theroux, wrote the original 1981 novel.
Apple have reportedly ordered the adaptation to series with Neil Cross (Luther) as showrunner and Rupert Wyatt (Captive State) executive producing and directing multiple episodes.
Theroux – the uncle, that is – previously had his book adapted for the big screen in 1986. That version starred Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren and River Phoenix.
The story follows an idealist who uproots his family and moves them to Latin America, trying to find a happier and simpler life. However, their paradise quickly turns into a dystopia as their stubborn father’s behaviour becomes increasingly erratic and aggressive.
This is a great lead role for any actor – Ford’s performance earned him a Golden Globe nomination – and Theroux must be ecstatic to secure it having likely felt a familial connection to the story throughout his life. He’s currently best known for The Leftovers and Cary Fukunaga‘s Netflix series Maniac, and will soon be the voice of Tramp in Disney’s Lady & The Tramp reboot.
Apple recently announced that its streaming platform will launch Friday, November 1. The key is that the launch price will be $4.99 a month. Without the same nostalgic libraries as other streamers, the company is banking on its low price and big stars to reel in subscribers.
The Mosquito Coast is just the latest project announced. It will be interesting to see what shows work for Apple, what fails, and what Apple TV+ looks like in a few years. With so many streaming options vying for consumer’s cash, not all are going to survive. Shows like this – ones without huge names and built-in IP – will have to be genuinely good to keep Apple afloat.