Background to “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” by Walter Mosley starring Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson: It took a decade to bring ‘The Last Days Of Ptolemy Grey’ to Apple TV+

Friday, June 17, 2022 4:41 pm

“The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” stars Samuel L. Jackson as Ptolemy Grey, an ailing man forgotten by his family, by his friends, and by even himself. Suddenly left without his trusted caretaker and on the brink of sinking even deeper into a lonely dementia, Ptolemy is assigned to the care of orphaned teenager Robyn, played by Dominique Fishback. When they learn about a treatment that can restore Ptolemy’s dementia-addled memories, it begins a journey toward shocking truths about the past, present and future.

“The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” premiered globally on March 11, 2022 on Apple TV+.
“The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” premiered globally on March 11, 2022 on Apple TV+.

The six-episode limited series is currently available in full on Apple TV+.

Lynette Rice for Deadline:

DEADLINE: How long has this been in the works?

JACKSON: For like 10 years or so. I met Walter Mosley at a couple of other places when he was doing some of his other novels or you know, just being around New York. But since we started trying to do this, we’ve been in contact with each other and trying to get this done for over 10 years. So yeah, we’ve known each other for a while. I’ve always liked his writing, so why not?

DEADLINE: Why did it take 10 years? Was it hard to find a buyer?

JACKSON: It was sitting in one place for a while, but they kept trying to figure out how to make it into a 90-minute, hour-and-45-minute movie. I was against it, so I never signed off on any of those. The scripts that we got left out too much. It’s a full story about somebody’s life. It’s hard to tell that in an hour and 45 minutes.

DEADLINE: It was such a beloved book. Were there any worries about doing it justice for the screen?

JACKSON: You never know. Novels, like I said, are dense. I was a little worried at first that even six episodes wouldn’t be enough, but we figured out a way to make that happen. I would’ve preferred eight in my mind. All the people watching it were very sad that it was coming to an end. There are parts that we had to lose or abbreviate in a way so we could make it work. But overall, I’m pleased with what we got.

MacDailyNews Take: We very highly recommend “The Last Days Of Ptolemy Grey” and expect it to reap even more awards for Apple TV+.

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