Mahershala Ali To Star In Drama ‘Swan Song’ For Apple TV+ | Film News


Two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali has signed on to produce and star in the “genre-bending drama” Swan Song for Apple TV+. Fellow Academy Award winner Benjamin Cleary – who secured an Oscar for Best Live-Action Short in 2016 for Stutterer – will write and direct the film.


The project is set in the near future and “explores how far someone will go, and how much they’ll sacrifice, to make a happier life for the people they love”. Matt Dentler, Apple’s head of feature development and acquisitions, said in a statement:


“Benjamin’s script for Swan Song immediately connected with us. We cannot wait to bring Benjamin’s vision together with Mahershala’s undeniable talent to deliver this powerfully layered story to audiences around the world”.


Apple will produce the film alongside Anonymous Content, and production is due to begin in the spring. Apple TV+ is still in its nascent days, so it’s still unclear what their long term strategy is. They found some mild success with series such as The Morning Show, but it’s unclear how sustainable their streaming model is, despite the low price.


Developing Swan Song could be another sign that they want to aim for the kind of prestige content Netflix originally developed. No one took Netflix’s desire to make their own content seriously until they got names like David Fincher involved early. Perhaps Apple are trying a similar tactic with a multi-Oscar winner in Ali.


Cleary said of the project: “I’ve been developing Swan Song for a while and when I sat down with Apple it was immediately clear they completely understood my vision. Once Mahershala agreed to join us I knew we had something really special. To be making this movie with Mahershala and Anonymous at Apple is an absolute dream”.


Apple said that Swan Song will receive a theatrical release in addition to being shown on Apple TV+. That means it joins other upcoming Apple films scheduled to hit cinemas such as Boys Slate, the previously delayed The Banker, and Sofia Coppola‘s On The Rocks, which will star Bill Murray and Rashida Jones.



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