surface

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who you may know from The Morning Show and Beyond the Lights, is about to headline her own TV show.

She’s set to star in Surface, a new psychological thriller for AppleTV+ which hails from creator Veronica West, who was one of the key people behind the cancelled-too-soon Hulu re-imagining of High Fidelity.

Mbatha-Raw is settling into AppleTV+. She already plays a supporting role on The Morning Show for that streamer, and now she’s about to star in Surface, a new thriller that’s also being produced by Reese Witherspoon‘s Hello Sunshine production company. Apple has handed out a straight-to-series order for the series, which is still otherwise entirely shrouded in mystery.

West, whose other writing credits include Ugly Betty, Hart of Dixie, Chicago FireBull, and the upcoming extension of Showtime’s Dexter, found a passionate audience with her recent spin on High Fidelity, but unfortunately the Disney-owned Hulu chose not to renew it for a second season. Surface is her follow-up project; she created and wrote this original series and will serve as an executive producer alongside Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter. Mbatha-Raw will star in the show and serve as a co-executive producer.

I first saw Mbatha-Raw in Bad Robot’s underrated spy comedy series Undercovers back in 2010. Since then, she has carved out a solid career in productions ranging from Black Mirror (she’s in the wonderful episode “San Junipero”) to Beyond the Lights, the Wachowskis’ ambitious sci-fi epic Jupiter Ascending, Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time, the puppet-centric The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, and this year’s fairy tale drama Come Away. She’s also set to make her entrance in the realm of mainstream superhero storytelling in Loki, the new Marvel Studios series that’s coming soon to Disney+.

You can read our interview with her here. Production on Surface is set to begin sometime in 2021.

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