The Changeling, which received a series order Wednesday, is described as “a fairytale for grown-ups, a horror story, a parenthood fable,” and “a perilous odyssey through a New York City you didn’t know existed.” Kelly Marcel (Cruella, Venom) will adapt the book and serve as showrunner, while Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim, Insecure) will direct. Both will executive-produce alongside Stanfield.
First published in 2017, LaValle’s novel centers on Apollo Kagwa, whose father disappeared and left him “strange recurring dreams and a box of books stamped with the word ‘Improbabilia,'” per the official synopsis. “Now Apollo is a father himself — and as he and his wife, Emma, are settling into their new lives as parents, exhaustion and anxiety start to take their toll. Apollo’s old dreams return and Emma begins acting odd. Irritable and disconnected from their new baby boy, at first Emma seems to be exhibiting signs of postpartum depression, but it quickly becomes clear that her troubles go even deeper.
“Before Apollo can do anything to help Emma, she commits a horrific act — beyond any parent’s comprehension — and vanishes, seemingly into thin air,” the synopsis continues. “Thus begins Apollo’s odyssey through a world he only thought he understood, to find a wife and child who are nothing like he’d imagined. His quest, which begins when he meets a mysterious stranger who claims to have information about Emma’s whereabouts, takes him to a forgotten island, a graveyard full of secrets, a forest where immigrant legends still live, and finally back to a place he thought he had lost forever.”
Marcel was previously set to adapt The Changeling for FX, where it was originally in development in 2018. Stanfield, meanwhile, remains in business with FX as one of the stars of Atlanta, which recently wrapped production on Season 3 ahead of an early 2022 debut; the Donald Glover-created comedy, which last aired in 2018, has already been picked up for Season 4.