After taking on the challenge of bringing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s story to the big screen in the movie On the Basis of Sex, director Mimi Leder said she’s excited to continue exploring women in male-dominated workplaces in Apple’s upcoming untitled morning show drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston.
“It’s a great show starring Jen and Reese and in many ways, it thematically follows the movie I just made, in that it deals with the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements and women in power,” Leder told EW earlier this month as she was debuting her movie.
Going from working with Felicity Jones as Justice Ginsburg for On the Basis of Sex to the morning show — which will also star Steve Carell and Gugu Mbatha-Raw — was an “abundance of riches” of powerful women, Leder said.
“To be telling a most timely story about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and then going into a contemporary story of the behind-the-scenes of the world of morning television shows, about women in power (and it’s a very different kind of power with the politics of a morning show), they’re very similar,” Leder explained.
Apple’s morning show was one of the first series that the tech company announced as part of its upcoming push into original content, on a yet-to-be announced platform that is expected to follow the streaming models of Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. Leder will direct the show, which has already been picked up for two season and is penned by Kerry Ehrin, and both women are executive producing alongside Witherspoon and Aniston.
“There’s so many women voices and it’s so interesting and powerful,” Leder explained, adding that “When things are done through a female gaze, there’s certainly a difference in feeling.”
“It’s so interesting being in a room full of women when we’re casting, and the actor walks in and says ‘Oh my god, it used to be all men,’ and here we are. It’s a great feeling,” Leder said.
Little is known about Apple’s platform and how the content will be distributed, but the morning show drama is expected to be one of the top offerings. It began production in November and Leder says it will debut “sometime in the summer of 2019.”
Apple has been ramping up its roster of original content with a slate of series starring A-list talent, and Witherspoon is producing other projects for Apple, including crime series Are You Sleeping? starring Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul. The company also has series in development with J.J. Abrams, M. Night Shayamalan, Jason Momoa, and Hailee Steinfeld, has signed Oprah Winfrey for a multi-year partnership and has also partnered with film production company A24 to produce a slate of films.
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- On the Basis of Sex celebrates origins of ‘modern-day superhero’ Ruth Bader Ginsburg