According to Deadline, screenwriter, director and producer Sofia Coppola will be adapting Edith Wharton’s novel The Custom of the Country for Apple TV+. Often described as an inspiration for Julian Fellowes’ Downton Abbey, the 1913 novel centers on Undine Spragg, a Midwestern girl who attempts to ascend in New York City society. Wharton was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for literature but this is her first novel to be adapted on screen. Deadline added that The Custom of the Country TV project was developed by Sony Pictures Television in 2014 but the goal was never achieved.
The Custom of the Country is Coppola’s first TV series since her 1994 short-lived Comedy Central show Hi Octane and her second collaboration with Apple TV+ after On The Rocks. According to Variety, On the Rocks will star Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation) and frequent collaborator Bill Murray (Joker). Coppola also directed and co-wrote the holiday special A Very Murray Christmas for Netflix in 2015. Coppola is the daughter of filmmakers Eleanor and Francis Ford Coppola and started her directing career with 1999 drama The Virgin Suicides. Her filmography also includes Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette, Somewhere and The Beguiled.
Details about the cast and premiere date for The Custom of the Country are yet to be revealed.