For Samuel L Jackson, The Last Days Of Ptolemy Grey 'Is A Dream Come True'

Between "Pachinko" and "The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey," Apple TV+ has some intriguing novels-turned-series on the way in March 2022. The latter stars Samuel L. Jackson as the eponymous Mr. Grey, an ailing man in his 90s who teams up with his caretaker, Robyn (Dominique Fishback), to seek out a treatment that can supposedly restore the memories he's lost to dementia. This, in turn, sets the pair on "a journey toward shocking truths about the past, present and future," as the show's official synopsis puts it.

"The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey" is based on the book of the same name by Walter Mosley, which was published in 2010. Far from a stranger to having his work adapted for the screen, Mosley's novel "Devil in a Blue Dress" was the basis for director Carl Franklin's critically-acclaimed 1995 neo-noir film starring Denzel Washington. But in spite of this, it took Jackson more than ten years to get the "Ptolemy Grey" TV show off the ground.

Jackson didn't want it to be a movie

Why the long delay for "The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey?" As Jackson explained at the show's premiere screening (via Variety), he was adamant that the book needed to be adapted as a series and not a movie:

"This was a project that's been eating me up for 10-12 years, and I've been chasing it and running it to different places trying to get it done. Fighting to keep it from being an hour and a half movie or two hours; you can't tell this story in that time. But to get here is amazing. They say 'Hollywood is a place of dreams,' and this is a dream come true."

It's hard to argue with Jackson's logic based on the sheer number of plot threads alluded to in the "Last Days of Ptolemy Grey" trailer alone. Holding out for a TV show instead of a film also meant that Jackson was able to recruit some top-notch talent for the project, including Oscar-nominated director Ramin Bahrani ("99 Homes," "The White Tiger") and Fishback, an up-and-comer who's already done excellent work on the HBO series "The Deuce," as well as the movies "Project Power" and "Judas and the Black Messiah." Joining the duo is a notable supporting cast led by Walton Goggins ("The Righteous Gemstones"), Damon Gupton ("Black Lightning"), and Marsha Stephanie Blake ("When They See Us"), among others.

Jackson is long overdue a non-honorary Oscar for his acting, but perhaps "The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey" will land him some recognition from awards bodies other than the Academy? We shall see when the show debuts on Apple TV+ on March 11, 2022.