Michael Douglas Has the Fate of the American Revolution in His Hands in the First Trailer for “Franklin”

The Academy Award winner stars as founding father Benjamin Franklin in the new limited-series from Apple TV+

America is at a tipping point, and its future lies in Michael Douglas’ hands in an all-new historical series from Apple TV+.

In Franklin, Douglas, 79, brings Benjamin Franklin to life as the founding father journeys to France in 1776 to sway the country into supporting the United States’ efforts in the American Revolution.

“The Congress has sent me here as a representative of the United States to elicit France in our war against England,” he says as the trailer begins, setting the scene for the eight-episode drama that traces the course of one of the most influential figures in the Revolutionary War. “America requires men, money and arms. Without your aid, the United States will end before it has begun.”

Benjamin brings his grandson, Temple Franklin (Noah Jupe), along for the journey, which ends up spanning eight years.

Related: Michael Douglas Quips He's Playing 'Rascal' Benjamin Franklin Because 'I Wanted to See How I Looked in Tights'

“Grandfather, how long must we stay?” Temple asks in the trailer, as Benjamin responds, “Until we win France to our side, or we are hanged.”

Temple questions, “Is there a third choice?”

Per a description from the streamer, 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 begins his secret mission in France, with the fate of the burgeoning United States hanging in the balance.

<p>Apple TV+</p> Michael Douglas as Benjamin Franklin in Apple TV+'s 'Franklin'

Apple TV+

Michael Douglas as Benjamin Franklin in Apple TV+'s 'Franklin'

Ultimately, Franklin succeeds in his mission and convinces the French monarchy to “underwrite America’s experiment in democracy,” but the journey is not without its challenges.

Benjamin deals with spies and traitors — “Someone is spying on us,” Temple warns in the trailer — and lives are on the line as he wields his weapons of diplomacy as wisely as he can. As Douglas' Benjamin explains, despite his lack of experience in the delicate art, “Diplomacy must never be a siege, but a seduction.”

The inventor, credited as the father of electricity, is willing to sacrifice himself — and his grandson, for that matter — in order to secure French support, but he’s up against some major resistance.

Related: Michael Douglas Transforms into American Founding Father Benjamin Franklin for Apple TV+: First Look

“France has nothing to gain, joining with America,” one Frenchman tells him in the trailer. “The British will defeat you. It may cost us. It will cost you more.”

“If the price is our lives, we’ll pay it,” Franklin replies.

As the challenges stack up and the clock keeps ticking, the 70-year-old inventor says of his efforts: “I don’t know who I can trust. I’m here to help my country, but time is running out.”

<p>Apple TV+</p> Noah Jupe and Michael Douglas in Apple TV+'s 'Franklin'

Apple TV+

Noah Jupe and Michael Douglas in Apple TV+'s 'Franklin'

The eight-episode series tells the story of Benjamin’s “most vital service to his country.”

“Diplomats and historians still regard it as the greatest single tour of duty by an ambassador in our nation’s history, as without French aid, America could not have won the Revolution,” per a release.

As a result of Franklin’s efforts, he engineered the Franco-American alliance of 1778 and the peace treaty with Great Britain in 1783, securing America’s place as a beacon of democracy in the 18th century.

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.

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The first three episodes of Franklin premiere on April 12 on Apple TV+, with the remaining episodes airing every Friday through May 17.

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