Apple TV+ in 2021, Part 2 - Sigmund’s Picks

13 Jan

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With so many projects noted by Jonathan in part 1 of our 2021 Apple TV+ preview, you’d be forgiven in thinking that I had been left slim pickings given the sheer breadth of potential within his list of upcoming original programming.

In reality, I had to slim down my list of brand new TV+ projects that I’m excited for in 2021, whilst also omitting second seasons of Ted Lasso, The Morning Show and upcoming features ‘Emancipation’ and ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ - both now not expected to release until either end of 2022.

Here then, are my most anticipated Apple TV+ projects expected to make their debuts in 2021:

Cherry - From visionary directors Anthony and Joe Russo, and starring Marvel collaborator Tom Holland and feature debutant Ciara Bravo comes ‘Cherry’, the journey of a disenfranchised young man who meets the love of his life, only to risk losing her through a series of bad decisions and challenging life circumstances. Inspired by the best selling novel of the same name by Nico Walker, the Russo brothers ‘End Game’ follow up is expected to be in contention this awards season and will debut its full trailer later this week in the lead up to its limited theatrical run on Feb 26th before debuting on Apple TV+ March 12th.

Losing Earth - The dramatised adaptation of Nathaniel Rich’s award winning New York Times Magazine story was purchased by Apple in a competitive situation all the way back in 2018. The story which is set between 1979 and 1989 focuses on a small group of American scientists, activists and politicians who tried unsuccessfully to save the world from climate change before it was too late.

The Sky is Everywhere - Starring Grace Kaufman, Cherry Jones and Jason Segel and directed by Josephine Decker is the latest feature film from Apple’s partnership with A24 and my most anticipated TV+ feature of the year. Based on the novel by Jandy Nelson - who also adapted the script - The Sky is Everywhere follows Lennie, a teen who struggles to deal with the sudden loss of her older sister, becomes romantically involved with her sisters former fiancé and a new boy in town who shares her love of music - which may explain this on-set footage shot by a local by-stander.

Mr. Corman - Whilst little is known about the half hour comedy-drama series written, directed and produced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I’m a big fan of JGL and welcome his return to the small screen since co-starring on the long-running NBC hit comedy ‘3rd Rock from the Sun’. The upcoming A24 produced show follows the days and nights of a public schoolteacher in the San Fernando Valley. Pre-production for the show began at the tale-end of 2019 with the show likely to debut in the first half of 2021.

Foundation - Based on the award-winning, highly influential science fiction novels by Isaac Asimov, Foundation chronicles a band of exiles on their journey to save humanity and rebuild civilization. Following the surprise of a debut trailer during last years WWDC keynote I began reading Isaac Asimov’s novels and found them to be a challenge. 'Foundation is a plot driven story exploring empire building, politics, economics and social science. I’m very interested and excited to see how Executive Producers Robyn Asimov, David S.Goyer, Josh Friedman, Cameron Welsh, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross tackle the challenge of bringing Isaac Asimov’s story to a mainstream television audience.

Pachinko - Once again based on the bestselling book, the show chronicles the hopes and dreams of four generations of a Korean immigrant family. Beginning with a forbidden love and crescendoing into saga, the story takes place between Korea, Japan and America in a melting pot of war, peace, love, loss, triumph and reckoning. The series will be told in three languages: Korean, Japanese and English and stars Lee Min-Ho, Jin Ha, Anna Sawai, Minha Kim, Soji Arai, and Kaho Minami.

The Shrink Next Door - Likely the one and only Wondery podcast project to make it to Apple following the company’s recent acquisition by Amazon, ‘The Shrink Next Door’ tells the story of Isaac Herschkopf, a psychiatrist to the stars who abused his relationship with his patients to exploit them for personal gain. Starring 'Anchorman' co-stars Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd and Kathryn Hahn, this dark comedy really goes places and I cant wait to see the talent involved take it to a new level of crazy.

Prehistoric Planet - Produced by Jon Favreau and Planet Earth II’s Mike Gunton in conjunction with BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit, the documentary series uses incredible CGI to tell the story of the final days of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. Judging by the talent involved, this will be truly spectacular. The perfect candidate to debut Apple’s purported plans for augmented reality special features.

Last but not least, The Shining Girls - another adaptation coming to Apple TV+, this time courtesy of Elisabeth Moss and Appian Way. Set in depression era Chicago, a drifter finds a key to a house that opens on to other times which comes at a sinister cost. He has to kill the shining girls: bright young women who burn with potential, stalking them and their lives across different eras until, in 1989, one of his victims, a reporter named Kirby Mazrachi (Moss), survives and starts hunting him back. A big fan of Elisabeth Moss, its a real treat to see such a talent coming to Apple TV+ screens in this upcoming metaphysical thriller which the multiple award winning actress will also executive produce alongside Silka Luisa, novel author Lauren Beukes, Alan Page Arriaga, Lindsey McManus, Jennifer Davisson and Leonardo DiCaprio.

I think you will agree that Apple TV+ is in for a very exciting 2021 which we have detailed over seventeen cumulative picks. Of course this is by no means a complete list of whats coming during the streaming services second year, with many more surprises to be introduced over the course of the next 12 months.

Now that you know whats on our radars, we’d love to know whats on yours? Let us know on Twitter.

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Sigmund Judge
Sigmund is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of ScreenTimes where he began his Apple TV coverage in 2016. With an unwavering passion for Apple, storytelling and storytellers alike, he writes about Apple TV with a focus on the arts, development, tvOS, home theatre and accessibility. Sigmund also co-host’s Magic Rays of Light, a weekly podcast exploring the world of Apple TV and the many talents bringing our screens to life.