Gary Oldman to Star in Espionage Drama Series for Apple

Gary Oldman - Getty - H 2019
Tasos Katopodis/WireImage

Apple is adding another sweeping international drama series to its roster.

The recently launched subscription streaming service has tapped Oscar winner Gary Oldman to make his TV series regular debut and star in Slow Horses, a straight-to-series drama based on Mick Herron's book series of the same name.

Slow Horses follows a team of British intelligence agents who serve in a dumping ground department of MI5 — Slough House. Oldman will play Jackson Lamb, the brilliant but irascible leader of the spies who end up in Slough House due to their career-ending mistakes.

Will Smith (Veep, The Thick Of It) will pen the script. Graham Yost, who quietly inked an overall deal with Apple TV+ earlier this year, will exec produce alongside Smith, Jamie Laurenson, Hakan Kousetta, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gail Mutrux and Douglas Urbanski. This is Yost's second drama at Apple TV+ and joins the Band of Brothers sequel Masters of the Air.

Apples heads of worldwide video Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht and creative director for Europe worldwide video Jay Hunt commissioned the series out of the U.K. Canning and Sherman's London-based See-Saw Films (A Special Relationship) will be the production company on the series.

Slow Horses is Apple's latest international series and joins Shantaram, which is currently in production.

Herron's Slow Horses was first published in 2010 and now features eight titles in the series, including Dead Lions, novella The List, Real Tigers, Spook Street, London Rules, novella The Drop and this year's Joe Country.

Oldman, who won a best actor Oscar in 2017 for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, was previously nominated for 2012's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and counts The Dark Knight and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, among his scores of credits. The actor is the latest A-lister to be drawn to television as streaming services like Apple and Netflix continue to shell out top names in a bid to cut through a cluttered landscape approaching 600 scripted originals. He's repped by APA, Douglas Management Group and Loeb & Loeb. 

Apple TV+ launched Nov. 1 at a rate of $5 per month with a slate four scripted originals (The Morning Show, See, Dickinson and For All Mankind) that have all been picked up for second seasons.