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Christopher Walken Joins Adam Scott, John Turturro In New Apple TV+ Drama


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Christopher Walken has been added to the cast of Severance, a workplace drama forthcoming from Apple TV+. Walken won an Academy Award for his disturbing portrayal of heroin addiction in The Deer Hunter back in 1978 and has appeared in dozens of movies since. The actor has reached icon status for his rare combination of chameleon-like versatility and unmistakable presence on camera.

Deadline has announced that Walken will join the cast of Severance, which also boasts Adam Scott, John Turturro, and Patricia Arquette in lead roles. Tramell Tillman, Jen Tullock, Zach Cherry, and Britt Lower have also been cast. Ben Stiller will produce and direct the sci-fi thriller created by Dan Erickson. Stiller has been taking more behind-the-scenes jobs lately and recently signed another deal with Apple TV+ to direct the comedy High Desert, which will also star Patricia Arquette. Arquette and Scott are credited as producers for Severance alongside executive producer Chris Black, Nicky Weinstock, Jackie Cohn, and Endeavor Content. The series centers on a technology company called Lumen Industries.

The fate of the workplace TV show post-coronavirus is yet to be determined but, for now, it seems the genre is alive and well in the entertainment industry. Demand for comedies, dramas, and procedurals of all genres set in an office or place of work has always been reliably high—people watch TV they identify with, and people work. With so many employees who once spent their days at the office now Zooming from home, it's tough to say whether shows and movies that take place in certain work settings will still connect. From the sound of it, Severance isn't meant to be totally realistic: its premise resembles that of a show like Black Mirror, wherein minor technological advancements have major societal impact.
 
 

At Severance's Lumen Industries, the company aims to change peoples' work-life balance by separating their memories from home and work. The "severance" in the title refers to this process rather than that of firing an employee, its typical use by employers. Walken will play Burt, Lumen's Head of Optics and Design. Scott is cast as the show's lead Mark, an employee with a shady history who's trying to get his act together. Memory separation is supposedly Lumen's product and therefore intended for its customers, but any employee of a company hawking sketchy wares in a dystopian thriller may want to keep their wits about them.
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