Apple Orders Series About ‘Manhunt’ for John Wilkes Booth: Here’s What We Know

by Kati Michelle

John Wilkes Booth. You don’t have to be a major history buff to recognize the name of the person who assassinated the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. You’ve probably already heard the story about the theatre too, but how much do you know about the chase leading up to the assassin’s downfall? A new limited series from Apple explores just that.

Apple ordered the “Manhunt” series from Monica Beletsky based on James Swanson’s book titled “Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer.” The show is very much in its early stages, but we do know a little something about its premise and early casting already. So, here’s your latest scoop:

A Peek Into the Historical Show Ordered By Apple

According to Variety, the show already cast Tobias Menzies as Edwin Stanton. Historically, Stanton was Abraham Lincoln’s War Secretary, but the two also considered each other friends. Following the assassination of Lincoln, Stanton made it his life’s goal to catch John Wilkes Booth and carry out Lincoln’s legacy.

An insider connected to the project also allegedly revealed that the show will feature several notable Black historical figures. One of these figures is Mary Simms, the former slave of the doctor who harbored and treated Booth after his crime.

Monica Beletsky, who recently renewed her deal with Apple, will head the project as its writer, executive producer, and showrunner. Other executive producers include Layne Eskridge, Richard Abate, Michael Rotenberg, Franks Smith, and Naia Cucukov. Carl Franklin lends his hands to both executive producing and directing.

Apple Studios and Lionsgate will head the production in conjunction with Walden Media, POV Entertainment, and 3 Arts Entertainment. Though the names are very similar, this series has nothing to do with Lionsgate’s previous “Manhunt: Unabomber” which premiered on Discovery in 2017, or “Manhunt: Deadly Games” which premiered on Spectrum in 2020.

This “Manhunt” is described as one part “historical fiction” and one part “conspiracy thriller,” per Deadline.

Getting to Know the Showrunner and Star

Neither Monica Beletsky nor Tobias Menzies is new to the world of entertainment. Beletsky even earned an Emmy nomination in 2017 in the “Best Limited Series Category” for her work on “Fargo.” Other works you might recognize from her include “Parenthood,” “I Am the Night,” and “The Leftovers.” She is repped by Tara S. Kole, an attorney.

Tobias Menzies played Prince Philip in a couple of seasons on “The Crown” which streams on Netflix. He won the Emmy for “Best Supporting Actor in a Drama” for this role last year. You might also recognize him from “Outlander” (a historical drama from Starz) or “Game of Thrones” and “Rome” from HBO. Conway Van Gelder Grant reps him in the UK while WME reps him in the US.