Ruth Negga, the Oscar and Tony-nominated “Passing” actress, has joined Apple TV+’s limited series “Presumed Innocent,” to star alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, who is in final negotiations for the project.
The murder-thriller, inspired by Scott Turow’s acclaimed novel, hails from David E. Kelley, Dustin Thomason and executive producer J.J. Abrams. Turow’s work was adapted into the 1990 film of the same name, starring Harrison Ford.
“Presumed Innocent” is billed as a courtroom thriller that follows the story of a horrific murder that upends the Chicago Prosecuting Attorneys’ office when one of its own is suspected of the crime. Kelley, the multi-Emmy award winner behind the likes of “Big Little Lies” and “L.A. Law,” reimagines “Presumed Innocent,” exploring obsession, sex, politics and the power and limits of love, as the accused fights to hold his family and marriage together.
Negga will portray Barbara Sabich, an artist, gallerist, mother and wife whose life is upended when her husband is accused of murdering his mistress. She fights to keep her family intact as she tends to her broken heart and marriage, contending with her husband’s infidelity and highly publicized trial.
“Presumed Innocent” hails from Bad Robot Productions and David E. Kelley Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, where Bad Robot is under an overall deal. Abrams and Rachel Rusch Rich executive produce for Bad Robot, while Kelley serves as showrunner and EP through his banner alongside Matthew Tinker (“Big Little Lies”). Thomason (“Castle Rock”), Sharr White (“The Affair”) and Gyllenhaal also serve as executive producers. Turow and Miki Johnson (“Ozark,” “Ray Donovan”) will serve as co-executive producers. Anne Sewitsky (“A Very British Scandal,” “Castle Rock,” “Black Mirror”) will direct and executive produce the first two episodes.
Negga was Oscar-nominated for her leading role in “Loving,” also starring Joel Edgerton, based on the Supreme Court decision that made interracial marriage bans discriminatory under the Constitution. She has since become BAFTA Film Award-nominated for her supporting turn in Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut “Passing.” Her additional credits include “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Ad Astra.”
Deadline first reported the news.