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Michael Douglas, 79, looks unrecognizable in new photos - and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, 54, is delighted

The actor’s wife Catherine Zeta-Jones expressed her anticipation

Catherine Zeta-Jones wearing a pink gown and Michael Douglas in a suit at a red carpet event
Faye James
Senior Editor
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Michael Douglas, 79, looks barely recognizable in new photos. The star has undergone a remarkable transformation for his latest role, where he embodies one of the most illustrious figures in American history, Benjamin Franklin.

 An image of the actor, in character was released on social media, eliciting excitement from fans and family alike, including his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, 54, who expressed her anticipation with a heartfelt "Can't wait!"

The transformation sees Douglas donning a powdered wig and Franklin's iconic attire, complete with the signature hat and trench coat. This look offers the audience a tantalizing glimpse into the upcoming Apple TV+ limited series titled Franklin. 

The series will delve into the pivotal moments and daring exploits of Benjamin Franklin, portrayed by Douglas, who at the age of 79, brings a wealth of experience to the complex role.

Michael Douglas as Franklin© Instagram
Michael Douglas as Franklin

In the first look at Franklin, Douglas is depicted weathering the tempestuous seas and mingling with French elites alongside his grandson, Temple Franklin. 

The eight-episode narrative is adapted from Stacy Schiff's Pulitzer Prize-winning work, "A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America," which recounts the high-stakes maneuvering of Franklin during a critical time in history.

Michael looks unrecognizable in new role
Michael looks unrecognizable in new role

Set against the backdrop of December 1776, the series follows Franklin as he embarks on a mission shrouded in secrecy. Known for his "world-famous" electrical experiments, Franklin is portrayed at a crossroads where his "passion and power are put to the test."

 With the fragile threads of American Independence in his hands, he sets sail for France on a clandestine operation. Despite lacking formal diplomatic training, Franklin's fame, wit, and charm become instrumental as he persuades the French monarchy to financially support America's fledgling democracy, a pivotal victory for the Revolutionary War.

The production of the series was fittingly set in the opulent city of Versailles, France, adding a layer of authenticity to the storytelling. An exciting preview celebrating Apple TV+'s upcoming content slate reveals Douglas as Franklin, immersed in the role and the period. 

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas attend the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.© Getty Images
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas

A pivotal scene teases the intensity of the narrative, with Edward Bancroft, portrayed by Daniel Mays, inquiring, "Do we have an alliance?" Franklin's response, delivered with Douglas' characteristic assurance, is a resolute "We have a battle."

The ensemble cast is a veritable constellation of talent. Joining Michael and Daniel are Noah Jupe, playing Temple Franklin; Thibault de Montalembert as Comte de Vergennes; Ludivine Sagnier as Madame Brillon; Eddie Marsan taking on the role of John Adams; Assaad Bouab as Beaumarchais; Jeanne Balibar as Madame Helvetius; and Theodore Pellerin as the Marquis de Lafayette.

Franklin promises to be a series that not only showcases the acting prowess of Michael but also shines a light on a chapter of history that reverberates with the echoes of diplomacy, courage, and the unwavering pursuit of independence. 

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