EXCLUSIVE: Oscar winner Julia Roberts is returning to television as star and executive producer of The Last Thing He Told Me, a high-profile limited series produced by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine.
In a highly competitive situation, the project, based on the Laura Dave’s anticipated novel, has landed at Apple with a straight-to-series order. Hello Sunshine is producing with 20th Television.
Created by Dave and co-created by Oscar winner Josh Singer (Spotlight), the The Last Thing He Told Me adaptation follows a woman (Roberts) who forms an unexpected relationship with her 16-year-old stepdaughter while searching for the truth about why her husband has mysteriously disappeared.
Executive producing The Last Thing He Told Me are Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter for Hello Sunshine; Roberts, Marisa Yeres Gill and Lisa Gillan through their Red Om Films banner as well as Dave and Singer. The series marks the second collaboration between the married duo of Dave and Singer.
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The novel The Last Thing He Told Me will be published in hardcover by Simon & Schuster on May 4. The book was optioned by Hello Sunshine prior to its release, and the company brought it to Roberts. With her on board, Hello Sunshine partnered with 20th TV, where Singer has an overall deal via Touchstone TV, which was recently merged with 20th TV, part of Disney TV Studios. The project was taken out to the premium marketplace, sparking a bidding war.
Hello Sunshine, whose drama The Morning Show helped put Apple TV+ on the original series and major awards map, has become the streamer’s most prolific producer. In addition to the Emmy-winning The Morning Show, the company has the NAACP Image Award-winning Truth Be Told — both heading into their second seasons — as well as the upcoming psychological thriller Surface, starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and My Kind of Country, Apple’s first reality competition series.
The Last Thing He Told Me follows two other high-profile limited series based on books from Hello Sunshine that featured Oscar-winning talent and achieved commercial and critical success: HBO’s Big Little Lies and Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere.
Roberts made her TV series debut with Amazon’s Homecoming, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. She is a four-time Oscar nominee, winning for Erin Brockovich.
This marks a return to TV for Singer, who started his writing career working on such series as The West Wing and Fringe. For the past decade, he has been focused on features, including Spotlight — which landed him an Oscar — The Post and First Man.