Apple has pegged its next venture into scripted television.
According to multiple industry reports, it has landed Are You Sleeping, a thriller drama series project from Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine. Octavia Spencer has been tapped to star in the series, which is now in development at Apple.
The series is created and written by Nichelle Tramble Spellman (The Good Wife, also one of the producers behind HBO’s planned series, Confederate) and is based on the true crime novel of the same name.
The novel’s description: “Serial meets Ruth Ware’s In A Dark, Dark Wood in this inventive and twisty psychological thriller about a mega-hit podcast that reopens a murder case—and threatens to unravel the carefully constructed life of the victim’s daughter.”
Sarah Koenig, the host, creator and producer of the true-crime podcast Serial, considered the staple true crime podcast and a major fuel behind the recent wave of true crime obsession, will be a consultant on the series. Witherspoon, Spencer, Spellman, Lauren Neustadter, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Kristen Campo are exec producing.
Are You Sleeping is the first series to land at Apple for development. It also has in the works: a morning news show drama from Witherspoon, starring herself and Jennifer Aniston, an Amazing Stories anthology series and a space drama from Ron Moore. Other than Are You Sleeping and the morning news show drama, Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine is also producing a thriller starring Zendaya as Anita Hemings, the first woman to graduate from Vassar College, who passed as white to attend.
Full description of the book, Are You Sleeping, below:
Josie Buhrman has spent the last ten years trying to escape her family’s reputation and with good reason. After her father’s murder thirteen years prior, her mother ran away to join a cult and her twin sister Lanie, once Josie’s closest friend and confidant, betrayed her in an unimaginable way. Now, Josie has finally put down roots in New York, settling into domestic life with her partner Caleb, and that’s where she intends to stay. The only problem is that she has lied to Caleb about every detail of her past—starting with her last name. When investigative reporter Poppy Parnell sets off a media firestorm with a mega-hit podcast that reopens the long-closed case of Josie’s father’s murder, Josie’s world begins to unravel. Meanwhile, the unexpected death of Josie’s long-absent mother forces her to return to her Midwestern hometown where she must confront the demons from her past—and the lies on which she has staked her future.”