Written by: Alessandra Motisi – Publication date:
The psyche and human behavior are topics that have always fascinated, which is why many are attracted to psychological thrillers. They often explore themes of fear, paranoia and mind manipulation, leaving audiences to question their perceptions of reality. Shows like Mindhunter, which examines the minds of serial killers through interviews with FBI agents, and the award-winning Black Mirror, which delves into the dark and disturbing effects of technology on society, deftly combine elements of science fiction, drama and horror to create an atmosphere of intense suspense, exploring the intricacies of behavior and the human psyche.
Expanding this list is Apple TV+, which will soon present a new psychological thriller: The Crowded Room, created by the Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind). The limited series is eagerly awaited by numerous fans eager to not only see their beloved Spider-Man in a unique role, but also delve into the mystery behind the shocking crime that forms the core of the show – inspired by a true story and based on the novel The Minds of Billy Milligan.
The original material
The Minds of Billy Milligan (in Italy known by the title A Room Full of People), written by Daniel Keyes in 1981, tells the biography of Billy Milligan, an American criminal suffering from multiple personality disorder, with 24 cohabiting personalities. In 1977 he was accused of kidnapping, raping and robbing three female college students, but was acquitted of insanity.
The book details Milligan’s arrest and trial, his change in demeanor under interrogation, and the discovery of his mental illness. After several suicide attempts and an attempt to give up his defense, he is diagnosed with multiple personality. His lawyers, after confirming the diagnosis, make an effort to defend him, despite his fragile mental condition.
The final verdict declares it not guilty by reason of insanity. After his trial, Milligan is transferred to a psychiatric hospital where they try to help “meld” his personalities. Although the media pressure causes a new dissociation of his personalities, 14 other identities emerge, including “the Master” – the sum of all personalities, the real Billy Milligan. With his emergence, Milligan’s true story is revealed, making this book possible.
The real-life Milligan was the first person ever to be acquitted of a crime due to multiple personality disorder (now known as dissociative identity disorder). In 1977, a lengthy psychiatric evaluation determined that Milligan had 24 alternate personalities: as a result, he was found not guilty of his crimes of robbery, kidnapping and rape.
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The Crowded Room will explore similar themes to the novel, but differs in how it tells the story of Danny Sullivan – whose life is explored through a series of interviews with Rya Goodwin. As Danny shares his life story with Rya and the audience, he slowly unravels the mysterious events that led up to his fateful accident. With each revelation, the story takes on an increasingly tense and emotional tone, as Danny deals with his past and the events that have brought him to this point. Through her retrospective examination of his life, Danny begins to come to terms with the pivotal moments that have defined him and ultimately leads him to discover a revelation that will change his life.
The series promises to be a deeply enthralling exploration of human experience, delving into the themes of trauma, redemption and self-discovery. As Danny shares his story, viewers will be drawn into a world of intrigue and suspense as they watch his past unfold before their eyes.
Second the official synopsis released by the platform, “A psychological thriller set in Manhattan in the summer of 1979, when a young man is arrested for a chilling crime and an unlikely female investigator must solve the mystery behind it”.
Cast and characters
The show will star:
- Tom Holland – Danny Sullivan;
- Zachary Golinger – younger version of Danny Sullivan;
- Amanda Seyfried – Rya Goodwin;
- Emmy Rossum – Candy Sullivan, Danny’s mother;
- Will Chase – Marlin Reid;
- Sasha Lane – Ariana, Danny’s closest friend;
- Christopher Abbott – Stan Camisa, a war veteran and Danny’s attorney who is still dealing with the trauma of his life’s experiences;
- Emma Laird – Isabel, a high school classmate of Danny’s who sees his potential and abilities sharper than others;
- Jason Isaacs – Jack Lamb, a friend of Danny’s biological father and Yitzak’s employer;
- Lior Raz – Yitzak Safdie, Danny’s landlord, who becomes an important figure in his life;
- Thomas Sadoski – Matty Dunn;
- Sam Vartholomeos – Mike;
- Levon Hawke – Jonny;
- There Robins – Susie;
- Henry Oakenberry – Doug;
- Henry Zaga – Philip.
The project was initially in development as a film, and it was announced in early 2015 that Leonardo DiCaprio he would produce and play the lead.
As of April 2021 Holland was cast in the first season’s lead role; initially believed to be Billy Milligan and later confirmed as Danny Sullivan (still loosely based on Milligan). In February 2022 they were added to the cast Amanda Seyfried, Emmy Rossum, Will Chase, Sasha Lane, Christopher Abbott ed Emma LairdWhile Jason Isaacs e Lior Raz they joined in May of the same year.
Filming began on March 31 and wrapped on September 28, 2022 in New York City.
During an interview Holland expressed his enthusiasm for this new job challenge:
“I’m going back to do a TV show for Apple, which I’m really excited about. It’s a very, very challenging role… Written by the amazing Akiva Goldsman, I think the script is one of the best I’ve ever read, so I’m really, really excited to do it.”.
Episodes and release date
The Crowded Room will consist of 10 episodes That they will debut on Apple TV+ starting June 9with a new episode every Friday.
- Episodio 1×01: June 9th;
- Episodio 1×02: June 9th;
- Episodio 1×03: June 9th;
- Episode 1×04: June 16th;
- Episodio 1×05: June 23rd;
- Episodio 1×06: June 30th;
- Episodio 1×07: June 07;
- Episodio 1×08: June 14th;
- Episodio 1×09: June 21st;
- Episodio 1×10: June 28.
Below, the previews released by the official Apple TV + channels.