Apple is in advanced negotiations to acquire the rights to Israeli television program "Nevelot" (Bastards) for the purpose of producing a US version. Informed sources say that Apple outbid competitors such as Showtime, FX, and Amazon.
The program, which was broadcast in Israel in 2010, tells the story of two veterans of the Palmach Israeli pre-state military organization going on a murder spree of mostly young people in Tel Aviv. The program focuses on their feeling that the younger generation does not appreciate what the older generation sacrificed on its behalf.
Details have not yet been released, but producers Warren Leight and Howard Gordon are in negotiations to create a new format for the series for the US market, possibly with a new name, according to sources close to the deal. Leight and Gordon have gotten good reviews as television producers. Gordon produced the 24 and Homeland series, while Leight was responsible for In Treatment and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
The negotiations also involve Richard Gere, who will probably star in the series. Apple and 21st Century Fox will jointly produce the series. The project was previously in development at HBO. Informed sources say that the deal has not yet been closed and is liable to fail if agreements are not reached, including on the budget.
No response was available from Apple, Gordon, or Leight. 21st Century Fox said that no deal had been made.
The acquisition of a violent series containing disturbing scenes runs counter to the usually standards enforced by Apple for its apps store. The Wall Street Journal reported in September that Apple was not interested in programs with violence, politics, or crude language.
Many sources close to Apple, however, say that this is incorrect, and that adult programs are definitely part of the company's plans. Apple content executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, who joined the company in June, are working hard to dispel the myth that Apple wants only family-friendly content.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 9, 2018
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