Chris Evans to star in new thriller series based on local author’s book

FILE - In this Wed., Sept. 2, 2015 file photo, Chris Evans attends the LA Premiere of "Before We Go" held at ArcLight Cinemas in Los Angeles. What's got Captain America quaking in his boots? Evans, known for playing the iconic Marvel superhero, is making his directorial debut with the indie film opening on Friday, and the stakes have never felt higher. (Photo by John Salangsang/Invision/AP, File) 22crit
John Salangsang/Invision/AP
Chris Evans.

Chris Evans is going from defending the world as Captain America to “Defending Jacob.”

Deadline reports that the Sudbury native is set to star in and executive produce an eight-episode limited series for Apple titled “Defending Jacob,” based on the crime novel of the same name by local author William Landay.

“Defending Jacob” is set in Newton and concerns a lawyer whose whole life changes when his 14-year-old son is accused of stabbing a classmate. The book, Landay’s third, was a bestseller in 2012.


Landay graduated from Yale University and Boston College Law School and was an assistant district attorney before becoming an author. In a Facebook post on Thursday announcing the news, Landay said that filming for the show will begin in March.

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Mark Bomback (“Planet of the Apes” trilogy) will write the series off of Landay’s novel and serve as showrunner. Oscar-winning director Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game”) is set to executive produce and direct, but no other details about cast, crew, or airdate have been released.

“Defending Jacob” will mark the first starring role in a series for Evans since “Opposite Sex,” a short-lived 2000 Fox show about three teenage boys (Evans, Kyle Howard, and Milo Ventimiglia of “This Is Us”) who become the first male students at a previously all-female high school.

Evans has already finished filming his part in the untitled sequel to “Avengers: Infinity War,” which is due in theaters May 3, 2019. He told The New York Times in March that he had no plans to reprise his role as Captain America once his contract ended in 2019.

Kevin Slane can be reached at