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Apple Lands Project Based on New York Times Writer’s Climate Change Feature ‘Losing Earth’

Nathaniel Rich’s story details the group of American scientists, activists and politicians who tried to stop climate change between 1979 and 1989

Apple is continuing its push into original content by landing the rights to Nathaniel Rich’s recent New York Times feature on climate change, “Losing Earth,” and his subsequent book.

The feature, which was published on Aug. 1, looks back at a small group of American scientists, activists and politicians who, between 1979 and 1989, tried to save the world from the ravages of climate change before it was too late. Produced with the support of the Pulitzer Center, “Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change” is based on more than 18 months of original reporting, well over a hundred interviews, and thousands of archival documents, many previously unknown, from government and industry sources.

Anonymous Content will produce with its founder and CEO Steve Golin (“Spotlight”) executive producing alongside Rich.

A book based on “Losing Earth,” with a significantly expanded narrative and a broader discussion of the current and future state of the climate crisis, will be published by MCD/Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2019; a special edition for young readers will follow.

The drama is one of roughly 20 original series Apple has in the pipeline as it aims to break into the content market. Among the big-name talent the tech company has enlisted for upcoming projects are Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey and J.J. Abrams.

For the Times, the project continues its own push to turn its reporting into TV shows and films, which include a weekly TV series on FX called “The Weekly.” The Times retained Anonymous Content earlier this year to represent the TV and film rights for its journalism. Annapurna and Plan B Entertainment are also developing a feature film about the investigation that led New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s to break the story of sexual assault and sexual harassment accusations against Harvey Weinstein.

Rich is a writer-at-large at the New York Times Magazine, and is the author of the novels “King Zeno,” “Odds Against Tomorrow” and “The Mayor’s Tongue.”