Michael Douglas Transforms Into Benjamin Franklin in New 'Franklin' Trailer

Michael Douglas portrays Benjamin Franklin in Apple TV+'s new limited series.

Michael Douglas is taking on the role of Franklin's titular founding father in the upcoming limited series from Apple TV+. Douglas can be seen for the first time as Benjamin Franklin in the first trailer for the eight-episode series, which premieres April 12 on the streamer and focuses on the historical figure's time in France amid the American Revolution.

Benjamin is joined by his grandson, William Temple Franklin (Noah Jupe), as they travel to France to lobby for the country's support in the war against Great Britain. "The Congress has sent me here as a representative of the United States to elicit France in our war against England,"  Benjamin says at the trailer's start. "America requires men, money and arms. Without your aid, the United States will end before it has begun."

The stakes are high as the future of the United States hangs in the balance, with Temple asking his grandfather how long they are required to stay in France. "Until we win France to our side, or we are hanged," Benjamin answers, as Temple wonders, "Is there a third choice?"

The series, which is based on Stacy Schiff's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, "explores the thrilling story of the greatest gamble of Benjamin Franklin's career," as he embarks on his secret mission to France at age 70 and without any kind of diplomatic training. "Diplomacy must never be a siege, but a seduction," Benjamin says in the trailer.

In the process of his secret, Benjamin is faced with traitors and spies as well as the fate of the United States. As time ticks by, the founding father laments, "I don't know who I can trust. I'm here to help my country, but time is running out." Nevertheless, it's a challenge Benjamin is willing to take on. "This is a dangerous game," Benjamin is warned in the trailer, to which he replies, "Then it's just the sort of game I like."

Franklin also stars Daniel Mays Edward Bancroft, Thibault de Montalembert as Comte de Vergennes, Ludivine Sagnier as Madame Brillon, Eddie Marsan as John Adams, Assaad Bouab as Beaumarchais, Jeanne Balibar as Madame Helvetius and Theodore Pellerin as Marquis de Lafayette. 

Franklin's first three episodes premiere on April 12 on Apple TV+, with subsequent episodes airing every Friday through May 17.