Add Chris Evans to the list of feature film stars headed for television.
The Captain America star will topline and executive produce the crime drama Defending Jacob, which has landed a straight-to-series order at Apple.
Based on William Landay’s 2012 New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, the project — which is being billed as a limited series — revolves around Andy Barber, an assistant district attorney who investigates the slaying of a 14-year-old boy and discovers his teenage son is a suspect. The character-driven thriller will run for eight episodes.
Mark Bomback (the Planet of the Apes trilogy) created the TV take and will pen the script, exec produce and serve as showrunner. The drama hails from Paramount Television and Anonymous Content. Rosalie Swedlin and Adam Shulman will exec produce for Anonymous Content, while Oscar nominee Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game, TV’s Counterpart, Jack Ryan) will exec produce and direct the series.
Defending Jacob marks Evans’ first TV role in nearly two decades. His only other series regular role was on the Fox dramedy Opposite Sex, which ran for one season (eight episodes) in the summer of 2000. The actor next will reprise his role as Captain America in Marvel’s final Avengers feature, which will be his last time playing the iconic superhero. He recently starred on Broadway in Lobby Hero and is primed to begin production on the feature The Devil All the Time. Evans is repped by CAA, 3 Arts and attorney Jason Sloane.
For Apple, Defending Jacob becomes the tech behemoth’s latest scripted foray. It joins a roster of scripted originals including Amazing Stories, Are You Sleeping, Calls, Central Park, Dickinson, Little America, Little Voice, See and the untitled Jennifer Aniston-Reese Witherspoon morning show drama, as well as entries from Damien Chazelle, M. Night Shymalan and more. Still to be determined is when — and specifically how — Apple will unspool its rapidly growing roster of high-profile projects.
Defending Jacob is Apple’s latest buy from Paramount TV, joining the Jon M. Chu-directed Hilde Lysiak drama and the international fantasy drama Shantaram. The studio, which recently replaced ousted president Amy Powell with Nicole Clemens, has multiple series set at every streaming outlet, including Netflix (13 Reasons Why), Hulu (Catch-22) and Amazon (Jack Ryan), among others. The studio has a long-running deal with Anonymous Content, which is where Clemens was prior to being tapped to replace Powell.