‘Black Bird’ Creator Dennis Lehane Signs Exclusive Deal With Apple TV+

The pact involves exclusive development and production of multiple original series for the streamer

Dennis Lehane attends the Los Angeles premiere of Apple TV+'s new show "Black Bird"
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Apple Studios has made an exclusive deal with Dennis Lehane, the mind behind films like “Mystic River” and “Shutter Island.”

The screenwriter and his production company Hans Bubby have agreed to the terms with Apple TV+ following the success of “Black Bird” starring Taron Egerton and Paul Walter Hauser, who won a Golden Globe for his role in the prison thriller show, which Lehane helped create. Variety first reported the news.

Lehane’s deal involves exclusive development and production of multiple original series for Apple TV+. The streamer will also get a first-look for digital features.

“Small Mercies: A Novel” by Lehane is already under development at AppleTV+ as a drama series produced by the author and executive produced by Bradley Thomas, Kary Antholis and Richard Plepler. The Boston-set book, which tells a story of revenge, family affairs and power-hunger, publishes April 25, 2023. 

Apple recently acquired “Small Mercies” in a competitive preemptive negotiation. The novel is Lehane’s most recent work in six years. Context includes “Southie” housing projects during the summer of 1974 in Boston. Attempted desegregation of public schools leads to explosive reactions. Mary pat Fennessey centers the story as a single mother who confronts local power-hungry barons over why her daughter went missing.

“Firebug” with Hans Bubby and much of the same production team behind “Black Bird” also lies in the queue of Lehane’s slated projects. Taron Egerton will star as an arson investigator tracking two serial arsonists. Egerton will also executive produce the story based on true events alongside Richard Plepler through EDEN Productions and Bradley Thomas and Dan Friedkin through Imperative Entertainment. Kary Antholis, who also served as an executive producer on “Black Bird,” will also do so for “Firebug” through his company Crime Story Media. Antholis, 30 years ago, reported the story off which “Firebug” is based. The show will also be adapted from a podcast that he produced with Marc Smerling.

Of Lehane’s twelve published novels, four have been made into movies. “The Drop,” which began as a short story, was also adapted by the novelist into a film starring TOm Hardy, Noomi Rapace and James Candolfini in his last role. Other credits for Lehane include staff writer on HBO’s “The Wire” and writer-producer on HBO’s “The Boardwalk Empire.” 

He is represented by Echo Lake Entertainment, CAA, Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency! and Jason Hendler at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Richman, Rush, Kaller, Gellman, Meigs and Fox.