After countless months of filming in dozens of Massachusetts municipalities, a highly anticipated Apple TV Plus show starring Chris Evans has a premiere date.
Over the long weekend, Apple announced that the first three episodes of “Defending Jacob,” an eight-episode limited drama series starring the Sudbury native, will arrive on its streaming platform April 24.
Based on a 2012 novel of the same name by local author William Landay, the show is set in Newton and concerns assistant district attorney Andy Barber (Evans), whose whole life changes when his 14-year-old son (Jaeden Martell, “It”) is accused of killing a classmate. The crime forces Barber to “choose between his sworn duty to uphold justice and his unconditional love for his son,” according to a plot synopsis provided by Apple.
“Defending Jacob” is the second time in short succession that Evans and Martell have worked together: The pair were part of the ensemble cast in “Knives Out,” which was filmed in Massachusetts in late 2018.
The series also co-stars Michelle Dockery (“Downton Abbey”), Cherry Jones (“The Perfect Storm”), Pablo Schreiber (“13 Hours”), Betty Gabriel (“Get Out”) and Sakina Jaffrey (“House of Cards”).
While “Defending Jacob” wasn’t part of the initial launch of Apple TV Plus, the series has clearly been a priority for the company, with sources involved in the production suggesting that Apple spared no expense while filming. At least 29 Massachusetts towns and cities were used for filming the show in 2019, including Boston, Framingham, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Medford, Newton, Salem, Waltham, and Worcester. Evans even dropped out of a planned lead role for the upcoming Antoine Fuqua movie “Infinite” due to scheduling conflicts with the show, with his role going to Mark Wahlberg.
The show’s April 24 premiere date also means that it will beat the May 30 eligibility deadline for the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards, giving Apple another chance at showbiz hardware. Earlier this month, Apple’s cable news drama “The Morning Show” failed to take home any of the awards it was nominated for at the Golden Globes, losing out in Best TV Drama and both Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon missing out on the Best Actress in a TV Drama award.