Tom Holland is the latest big star to lead a TV series. He’s signed on for The Crowded Room, an anthology series in the works at Apple. Written and produced by Akiva Goldsman, the series will focus on real-life stories of those living with mental illness.
The first season will be based on Daniel Keyes‘ biography The Minds of Billy Milligan.
Milligan was acquitted of the rape and robbery of three women on the Ohio State University campus after psychologist Dorothy Turner diagnosed him with Disassociative Identity Disorder. After being diagnosed with having 24 personalities, he was released from the mental health system in 1991 before dying of cancer in 2014.
Holland will portray Milligan in the series, having just come off playing an Army veteran struggling with PTSD in Cherry. Goldsman’s involvement is worth noting, as he previously penned 2001’s A Beautiful Mind, which was praised by the National Alliance on Mental Health for its depiction of schizophrenia.
“Our members are the movie’s toughest critics”, said NAMI executive director Richard C. Birkel, Ph.D., in 2002. “A Beautiful Mind is a breakthrough of historic proportions. It is authentic […] although John Nash‘s story has been fictionalized, with some edges smoothed over, the essential portrayal is realistic. For our community, it hits home”.
Hopefully Goldsman’s involvement signals an empathetic, authentic portrayal of mental illness. We’ll likely learn more about the series once it enters production later this year. It will eventually premiere on Apple TV+.
Holland has a third Spider-Man film – No Way Home – currently in post-production, as well as the Uncharted adaptation, which hits cinemas February 18, 2022.