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Apple cancels plans for horribly misguided Richard Gere series Bastards

Photo: Dia Dipasupil (Getty Images for National Board Of Review)

Fresh off of Disney+ canceling its first series without even launching the service it would’ve aired on, the creatively named Apple TV+ service has just done the same thing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Apple has pulled the proverbial plug on Bastards, an eight-episode series based on an Israeli drama that would’ve starred Richard Gere and was coming from Law & Order: SVU writers Howard Gordon and Warren Leight. Interestingly, Apple apparently fought hard to get the show in the first place, outbidding “multiple other outlets” to get a show that it has already decided not to produce.

As for what Bastards would’ve been about, here’s what THR says:

Gere was set to star as one of two elderly Vietnam vets and best friends who find their monotonous lives upended when a woman they both loved 50 years ago is killed by a car. Their lifelong regrets and secrets collide with their resentment of today’s self-absorbed millennials and the duo then go on a shooting spree.


Wait… what the fuck? That description makes this sound like the most misguided pitch for a TV series since the Game Of Thrones guys tried to make that alternate-history show about slavery. It’s obvious now why Apple—which had previously confirmed that it was avoiding sex and violence in its original shows—decided not to move forward with this awful, awful, awful idea, but the real question is why anyone thought this was a good idea in the first place.

Luckily, THR actually has answer for that. Apparently, Apple picked up Bastards with the intention of focusing on “the larger metaphor” of the friendship between the two vets, while Howard Gordon wanted to emphasize “the darker elements of the series”—i.e., killing young people in mass shooting, which, again, is extremely fucked up. THR says Apple agreed to give up the rights to Bastards and pay out a “sizable financial penalty,” but at this point we don’t know if someone else will come along to fund this shockingly terrible idea.


If not, hopefully we’ll be able to find some other outlet for insightful social commentary like “millennials are self-absorbed.” Ooh, maybe they could also point out that people are on their phones too much these days? And there seems to be an excessive amount of people on all of our lawns, is there any way we could do something about that?

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