With projects like Ted Lasso and Severance, Apple TV+ is starting to really knock it out of the proverbial park in terms of original content. Some of the news from the past week signal the streamer isn’t letting their momentum go to waste. They’ve signed on Harrison Ford for his first ever ongoing role in the upcoming comedy Shrinking, and another new cast member has just been tapped to join him.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jessica Williams of the Fantastic Beasts films is on board for what sounds like one of the leading roles of Shrinking. Williams will play the therapist Gaby, who works for Dr. Phil Rhodes (Harrison Ford). THR describes Gaby as “all in on anything she’s passionate about, including her friend Jimmy.” Jimmy will be played by Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother), and it sounds like Gaby might be holding a torch for him.
Before joining Harrison Ford and Jason Segel in the upcoming series, Jessica Williams first became a known quantity for her work on The Daily Show. She’s since enjoyed memorable roles in HBO’s Girls, Inside Amy Schumer, and Booksmart. She had a relatively small role in 2018’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald as Professor Eulalie “Lally” Hicks, a Charms professor in the Ilvermorny School of Massachusetts. Her role was expanded for the just released Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. She’s also the star of her own acclaimed Netflix film, The Incredible Jessica James.
The first ongoing television role Harrison Ford has ever agreed necessitated a lengthy negotiation with the Indiana Jones star according to Deadline. Dr. Phil Rhodes is a pioneering, blunt therapist whose physical health makes a turn for the worse. He’s diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, and that news forces him into new and old, unwelcome challenges such as “intrusive friends, his estranged family and his legacy.”
Jessica Williams’ Gaby will be one of the two proteges under Harrison Ford’s wing. The other is Jimmy, played by Jason Segel. Jimmy will be grieving his own loss in the series, which will apparently inspire a change in his therapy style. The therapist will begin telling his patients what his true, unvarnished opinions about them and effecting huge, sweeping changes in their lives. Segel will also write and executive produce the series.
While Shrinking will be the first TV series Harrison Ford signs on for, it may not be his last. In February it was announced that Ridley Scott was returning to the world of replicants and the replicants who hunt them with the upcoming live-action series Blade Runner 2099. There’s no word on casting yet, and Ford admittedly seems like a long shot. Considering the first Blade Runner is set in 2019 and Blade Runner 2049 was set in the titular year, it would seem unlikely Ford’s Deckard couldn’t survive to the distant 2099, but you never know. It’s long been theorized by fans that Deckard is a replicant himself; a theory much more strongly supported by 2007’s Blade Runner: The Final Cut. Having Deckard show up in 2099 could confirm the theory that he’s a replicant — a theory that Scott himself fully supports.