Michael Douglas is about to take it back to the 18th-century folks. The actor has taken on all kinds of roles over the years and shown the ability to play a wide range of different characters. But now it looks like he is going to use those skills to play one of the Founding Fathers of America, the kite-flying, bifocal-wearing, lightning rod of American revolutionary fame. Deadline has it that Michael Douglas will star as Ben Franklin in a limited series coming on Apple TV+. It’s pretty wonderful casting news in what could be one of the deeper looks into this iconic figure’s life.
There is currently no title for the Ben Franklin series with Michael Douglas in the lead, but there is a solid team of creatives already behind this project. First off, the script is from Kirk Ellis who also penned the John Adams series for HBO back in 2008. That one took home all kinds of awards during Emmy season including Outstanding Miniseries and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for star Paul Giamatti. And it looks like Tim Van Patten will serve as showrunner for the series after having credits on Boardwalk Empire, Black Mirror, Deadwood, Game of Thrones, and many more. This is setting up to possibly make an awards season run of its own considering the folks involved.
And though we don’t have a title (Ben Franklin would probably do it), we do know what timeline Michael Douglas will take on for this character. The 77-year-old actor will play Ben Franklin during his later years (obviously) and the story will specifically focus on the time during The Revolutionary War. Ben Franklin, even at an advanced age was critical in the then Colonial army achieving victory over the British. He was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, acted as Ambassador to France during some of the heavier fighting years, and was critical in having that country provide significant aid (both money and soldiers) to the fight.
Michael Douglas might be pushing 80-years-old, but you would never know it from how much work this guy is taking. Sure, he’s got this Ben Franklin series coming up, but he’s also just wrapped up the third season of The Kominsky Method last year on Netflix. He plays Sandy Kominsky, an acting coach in Tinseltown. The show also has other big names like Paul Reiser, Kathleen Turner, and a number of celebrities who cycle through playing themselves. It’s a complete who’s who on that front. Michael Douglas has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award this year for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and the show is also up for Outstanding Comedy Series as well.
And Michael Douglas will also be returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well, reprising his role of Hank Pym in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. It will be his third through the MCU. That one is still a ways off though with a July 2023 release date. So a little Marvel and a little Revolutionary War. Not bad for one of the legends in the industry.