The relationship between Apple and Dr. Dre appears to have evolved yet again.
The legendary rapper and music producer is reportedly executive producing and starring in a “semi-autobiographical” drama miniseries that would be Apple’s
first original scripted series, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which cites anonymous sources. THR adds that Apple is paying to produce the six-episode series, which is called Vital Signs and will likely be released through the company’s Apple Music streaming platform.
Apple spokeswoman Christine Monaghan declined Fortune‘s request for comment.
Less than two years ago, Apple paid $3 billion to acquire Beats Electronics, the audio products and music streaming service co-founded by Dr. Dre (aka Andre Young) and music producer Jimmy Iovine, before integrating that company’s streaming technology into its own streaming platform, Apple Music, which launched last summer.
After making a bundle selling Beats to Apple, Dre reportedly took on a “senior role” at Apple and now hosts a radio show on Apple Music’s Beats 1 station. Last year, Dre also opted to initially release his first album in 16 years exclusively through iTunes and Apple Music. The album, called Compton, streamed 25 million times in its first week of release and went on to sell more than 500,000 copies, according to Billboard.
For Apple, Vital Signs would represent the tech giant’s first push into original video content—a move Apple had previously been rumored to be considering, and one that could establish the company as a rival to other streaming services that are putting out more and more original series and films. Amazon
, Hulu, and Netflix
have all emerged as competitors with traditional media outlets such as television networks and Hollywood movie studios, with the streaming services stockpiling original series and films by cutting deals with A-list talent and inspiring bidding wars for desirable content.
Meanwhile, THR also notes that it is still unclear whether or not Apple TV would be involved in distributing Dre’s series. The company launched its new set-top box last fall, but it has so far had trouble reaching deals with content providers to add their apps to the box’s lineup.
As for Dre, the rap legend has had a busy and successful past few years, going back to the Beats sale and the success of his latest album. And, last summer, the movie based on his time with the group N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton, was a major box office success, earning more than $200 million in worldwide ticket sales.
It’s possible the success of Straight Outta Compton convinced Apple it would be wise to invest in another project based on the rapper’s life. As THR reports, multiple sources say each episode of Vital Signs would focus on a different emotion as its theme while depicting Dre’s character experiencing that emotion. Actors Sam Rockwell and Mo McCrae are also reportedly cast in the series.