"I think people will see one of Michael Douglas' greatest performances ever in this project," says producer Tony Krantz of Franklin.
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He's been the American President, now Michael Douglas is a Founding Father.

The Oscar-winner is in his full wigged-out glory as everyone's favorite inventor, publisher, diplomat, and face of the $100, Benjamin Franklin, in EW's first look below at Franklin. The upcoming Apple TV+ limited series is based on the book A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America by Pulitzer Prize winner Stacy Schiff.

Michael Douglas as Ben Franklin
Michael Douglas as Ben Franklin in Apple TV+'s 'Franklin'
| Credit: Courtesy of Apple

The eight-episode drama will explore how the 70-year-old Franklin, in one of the greatest gambles of his prolific career, convinced the absolute monarchy of France to underwrite America's little experiment in democracy.

"By virtue of his fame, charisma, and ingenuity, Franklin outmaneuvered British spies, French informers, and hostile colleagues," a press release goes, "all while engineering the Franco-American alliance of 1778 and the final peace with England of 1783. The eight-year French mission stands as Franklin's most vital service to his country, without which America would not have won the Revolution."

Franklin is written and executive produced by Kirk Ellis, and directed by Tim Van Patten, who will also serve as executive producer alongside Douglas, Richard Plepler, and Tony Krantz.

"When Richard Plepler, Tim Van Patten, and I started talking about possible actors to play Franklin, there was really only one: Michael Douglas. We got lucky, it was like winning the lottery — he said yes," said Krantz. "Now Michael's become the role, transforming his physicality, voice, cadence. And his humor is so much fun … I think people will see one of Michael Douglas' greatest performances ever in this project."

In addition to Douglas, Franklin also stars Noah Jupe (A Quiet Place), Ludivine Sagnier (Lupin), Thibault de Montalembert (Call My Agent), Daniel Mays (Rogue One), Assaad Bouab (Call My Agent), Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan), Jeanne Balibar (Irma Vep), and Theodore Pellerin (On Becoming a God in Central Florida).

Apple TV+ has not yet announced a premiere date for Franklin.

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