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Given Justin Theroux is the nephew of author Paul Theroux, it would be natural to assume he was among the initial driving forces behind The Mosquito Coast, an adaptation of the writer’s 1981 novel, which premieres on Apple TV+ April 30.
“It was sort of the opposite,” explains the actor. “I would love to say I was having coffee with my uncle and said, ‘We should really dust off Mosquito Coast and make it into a great TV show!’ I don’t know if I was even the first choice.”
Regardless, the intensity that the Leftovers star is capable of delivering on screen makes him an ideal casting choice for the role of maniacal inventor Allie Fox. Theroux and showrunner Neil Cross (Luther) regard this version of Mosquito as a prequel to the book. While the novel and the 1986 Harrison Ford film adaptation are mostly set in Central America, the early episodes of the show find Fox, his wife Margot (Melissa George), and their two kids (Logan Polish and Gabriel Bateman) in the U.S., pursued by the authorities because of an incident in the couple’s past. “We needed a motivating storyline, which is the mystery as to why they’re on the run,” says Theroux. “But it becomes more about this domineering father figure and the flaming hoops he forces his family through.”
Theroux admits to being less inventive than his character, who, in the second episode, uses a soda can to get free from handcuffs. “I consider myself handy around the house,” he says. “But I think I’d be in those handcuffs for quite a bit.”
Exclusively watch a clip from The Mosquito Coast above.