IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Exclusive: 'The Last Thing He Told Me' co-creators explain how the show is a 'love letter' to their son

Laura Dave, who wrote the 2021 novel, co-created the Jennifer Garner-led Apple TV+ show with her husband, Josh Singer.
/ Source: TODAY

While "The Last Thing He Told Me" is a suspenseful journey into discovering the truth about one's husband, the story was written as a "love letter" to family.

Laura Dave, the author of the original novel, and her screenwriter husband, Josh Singer, adapted Dave's 2021 book for the screen together and opened up about the writing process behind the Apple TV+ show in a new clip shared exclusively with TODAY.com.

"The Last Thing He Told Me" follows Hannah Hall (Jennifer Garner) as she searches for her missing husband, while trying to forge a relationship with her stepdaughter, played by Angourie Rice.

The show is set in Sausalito, California. Hannah lives with her husband Owen (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) on a houseboat in the Richardson Bay overlooking San Francisco.

Jennifer Garner in "The Last Thing He Told Me."
Jennifer Garner in "The Last Thing He Told Me."Saeed Adyani / Apple TV+

San Francisco is the co-creator couple's "happy place," Singer tells his wife in the clip. Dave notes that because of the show, people often ask if she could live on a house boat.

"No, I don't think you could," her husband answers for her, as Dave laughs.

In their conversation, Dave reveals that her husband's input helped shape the final narrative of her bestselling book, which was released in 2021. Singer helped his wife fine-tune the book's ending, she says, which serves as "prime example of how our writing life works at home."

"We read everything the other writes," she says. "If I had my way, we'd sit in the same office all day."

When the book was optioned for a TV show, it was only "natural" that the couple create it together, Dave says.

Dave says she learned so much from her screenwriter husband, whose credits include acclaimed movies "First Man," "Spotlight" and "The Post," on set.

"In some ways, it felt like I was going to film school working with you," she notes.

But the contemporary show was a notable departure from his usual genre of historical drama. He credits his wife with taking the "first pass" at all the scripts for the seven-episode series.

"What I love about your writing is it's so insightful and thoughtful," Singer says.

"I just cleaned up around the margins," he adds.

As much as the show is a mystery, it's also imbued with the theme of "parenting and found families," Singer says.

"Do you think you could have written this before we had Jacob?" Singer asks his wife, referring to their young son.

"I don't know," she answers.

"This book is a love letter to Jacob," she says. "I always tell him it's his book, which he thinks the whole book's about him, but in some ways it is."

For Singer, the Apple TV+ show marks the first time he is adapting a book by his wife, who also wrote “London Is The Best City In America” and “Hello, Sunshine.” The experience has been a “joy,” he tells his wife in the clip.

“I only hope I have done it justice,” he says.

The fifth episode of "The Last Thing He Told Me" premieres on Apple TV+ May 5.