Custom of the Country

Sofia Coppola is sticking with Apple. The Lost in Translation filmmaker already has her Bill Murray reunion movie On the Rocks set up at A24 and Apple, and now she’s moving into episodic TV at Apple TV+ with Custom of the Country. The series will adapt the Edith Wharton novel of the same name, following a Midwestern girl who attempts to rise through the ranks of New York City society.

I’ll say this about Apple TV+: they’re far more interested in talent than material. While Disney+ has all sorts of splashy, franchise-ready material, and Netflix pumps out originals aimed at nearly everyone, Apple TV+ has slowly put together a line-up of artists that may not inspire huge buzz, but do warrant paying attention to. That’s definitely evident with the latest Apple TV+ news, which involves a new series from Sofia Coppola.

Per Variety, Coppola is adapting Edith Wharton’s Custom of the Country into a new Apple TV+ series. Here’s the synopsis of the book, which was first published in 1912:

Undine Spragg is an exquisitely beautiful but ferociously acquisitive young woman from the Midwest who comes to New York to seek her fortune. She achieves her social ambitions—but only at the highest cost to her family, her admirers, and her several husbands. Wharton lavished on Undine an imaginative energy that suggests she was as fascinated as she was appalled by the alluring monster she had created.

“Undine Spragg is my favorite literary anti-heroine and I’m excited to bring her to the screen for the first time,” Coppola said. This will mark a continued relationship between Coppola and Apple. Coppola’s upcoming film On the Rocks, which reunites her with actor Bill Murray, is an A24 film that’s part of a deal with Apple, with the film likely to debut on Apple TV+.

Here’s the part of the story where I confess I’ve never read Custom of the Country, or any Edith Wharton novel for that matter (although I have seen Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Wharton’s The Age of Innocence). As such, I’m somewhat neutral on this news, but I remain a fan of Coppola, and am always up to check out new projects she’s worked on.

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