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Apple axed Florence Pugh drama over concerns with her character


Florence Pugh's show 'The Custom of the Country' was cancelled because Apple TV+ bosses didn't "get" her character.
Producers at the streaming giant decided to pull the plug on the project - which was adapted from Edith Wharton's classic novel - due to apparent issues with the female protagonist Undine Spragg.
Sofia Coppola, who was set to direct the series, told The New Yorker magazine: "Apple just pulled out. They pulled our funding."
The show, set in the Gilded Age, would have followed Undine, a woman from the Midwest desperately trying to infiltrate New York City's high society.
Coppola argued with Apple executives - who she claimed were "mostly dudes" - during development, but they found the lead character too "unlikeable" to move forward.
She added: "They didn’t get the character of Undine. She’s so ‘unlikable.’ But so is Tony Soprano!”
The director admitted she thought Apple had "endless resources" for the five episode limited series, which she claimed would have had a budget the size of "five Marie Antoinettes", referring to her own movie with a $40 million budget.
The now scrapped project was first announced in 2020, and at the time Coppola heaped praise on Undine as an "anti-heroine", and someone she was looking forward to bringing to life on screen.
She said at the time: "Undine Spragg is my favorite literary anti-heroine and I’m excited to bring her to the screen for the first time.”
In late 2021, the company decided to shut down the project, and Coppola has made her feelings on the situation clear.
She also told the New York Times: "The idea of an unlikable woman wasn't their thing. But that's what I'm saying about who's in charge.
"The people in charge of giving money are usually straight men, still."