Apple Sours on Dark, Vigilantism-Themed Richard Gere Drama

Apple Cancels Gere Series

Apple TV+ is now minus one Richard Gere.

Nine months after giving a straight-to-series order to Bastards, which was to star the movie star as a Vietnam vet who develops a hankering for vigilante justice, Apple TV+ has scrapped its plans for the drama, The Hollywood Reporter reports.

Based on the Israeli series Nevelot, Bastards was to follow “two elderly Vietnam vets and best friends who find their monotonous lives upended when a woman they both loved 50 years ago is killed by a car. Their lifelong regrets and secrets collide with their resentment of today’s self-absorbed millennials, and an act of self-defense snowballs into a tragic series of events.”

Sources tell THR that Apple TV+ is looking for “aspirational programming” and thus sent notes to executive producers/co-writers Howard Gordon (Homeland) and Warren Leight (Law & Order: SVU) expressing a preference to focus on the central friendship. Gordon, however, was more interested in leaning into the show’s tone of vigilante justice.

Leight then parted ways with the project, after which Apple TV+ decided to pay a sizable financial penalty and not-so-simply shutter the series.

Bastards was one of at least 23 series in various stages of development for the Apple TV+ streaming service, which is set to launch this fall.

GET MORE: Cancellations