Black Bird on Apple TV+: what is this psychological thriller about a real…

Inspired by real events, the “Black Bird” series, notably worn by Taron Egerton (“Rocketman”) and Paul Walter Hauser (“Le Cas Richard Jewell”), arrives today on Apple TV+. Presentation by the team.

What is it about ?

When Jimmy Keene, a high school football champion and son of a decorated police officer, is sentenced for drug trafficking to 10 years in prison, he is offered the choice of his life: to enter a maximum security prison to insane criminals and befriend suspected serial killer Larry Hall, or stay where he is and serve his full sentence without the possibility of parole.

Black Bird, created by Dennis Lehane with Taron Egerton, Paul Walter Hauser, Greg Kinnear, Sepideh Moafi and Ray Liotta.

A true story that grips the guts

Known in particular for his detective novels which inspired acclaimed films such as Mystic River (2003) by Clint Eastwood Where Shutter Island (2010) by Martin Scorsese, Dennis Lehane returns to the front of the stage with its own series, black birdadapted from the book with the devil co-written by James Keene and journalist Hillel Levin.

In it, Keene recounts how he was tasked with obtaining confessions from Larry Hall about the location of the bodies of several of his alleged victims. A story that hasgutted” Lehane, who tells us about this:

What is interesting is that with my background, I no longer wanted to hear about the prison world or serial killers. But a friend forced me to read Jimmy Keene’s memoir because he ‘just’ wanted my opinion.” A reading which therefore plunged the author back into the sordid since he then agreed to transpose this story to the screen.

And in addition to deepening the relationship between Jimmy, whose role was given to Taron Egertonand Larry, played by Paul Walter Hauser which had already made a strong impression on us in The Richard Jewell Case of Clint Eastwood, he also decided to give more importance to the detective who was the first to suspect Larry, Brian Miller (Greg Kinnear), whose investigation is shown in flashbacks.

Black Bird on Apple TV what is this psychological thriller

Greg Kinnear and Sepideh Moafi in Black Bird.

Toxic masculinity at the heart of the story

Beyond the suspense concerning Larry’s confessions which keeps the spectator in suspense, the show is also interested in an underlying way in very current themes, such as toxic masculinity. What the interpreter of the killer had not noticed when reading the script.

While I know this is a show that, in part, exposes the horrors of toxic masculinity, I only discovered this theme while filming the show. I got so focused on the interpretation of Larry that I hadn’t seen the larger subject which is at the heart of our show.”, he admits.

And the one who lost 30 kilos for the role but did not wish to meet the man he plays added: “I think this toxic masculinity actually reflects the insecurity of many men in society. They are people who have a hole in their heart which they fill, not with love but with poor quality food.

It is also this theme “found everywhere in our society today” which particularly interested Dennis Lehane in the Black Bird story. “It’s terrifying to see all these ultra-right and ultra-macho movements multiplying in the USA.

1657295681 439 Black Bird on Apple TV what is this psychological thriller

Paul Walter Hauser in Black Bird.

I really focused on understanding Jimmy Keene’s journey and how I could transform his journey so that we could go deeper into all these themes of toxic masculinity. It was not easy to find the perfect articulation between these two men, Jimmy and Larry, in order to create a palpable thriller with a real background.”, he explains.

Change of tone for Taron Egerton

For the interpreter of Jimmy, another theme also emerges from the series: “that of redemption”. “Can you really change your life after having been at the end of yourself, almost in hell? At what price are you ready to change your existential path in order to have a better life?”, wonders the one who is trying out a new register for the occasion.

This story is totally unglamorous and unsexy and I found it fascinating because I had never been part of such a black universe. It’s definitely the darkest role I’ve played”, indeed tells us the actor of Kingsman and Rocketman which does not demerit in the role of Jimmy.

And Dennis Lehane to clarify that he actually wanted to address “the idea of ​​transformation and rebirth”. “The Jimmy at the beginning of our story is therefore totally different from the one we meet at the end of the show. It’s a Jimmy who becomes a better person but also loses something in him”, he concludes.

The first two episodes of Black Bird have been available since today on Apple TV+, the other four will be posted on the following Fridays, one per week.

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