Apple Eyes Lease at The Culver Studios, Bidding on Drama Starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon

Apple is reportedly seeking to move its original content division to an iconic California studio where movies like Gone With The Wind and The Matrix were shot, in order to serve as a base for its big push into Hollywood production.

According to the Financial Times, Apple is interested in leasing space at The Culver Studios, which was built by silent movie pioneer Thomas Ince and counts RKO, Howard Hughes and Cecil B DeMille among its former owners. The studio is close to Sony Pictures' studio lot in Culver City, as well as Beats, the audio group Apple bought two years ago.

Image via Wikipedia

Leasing at The Culver Studios would give Apple room to expand, as it hires top Hollywood talent, according to three people familiar with the discussions. The site has 13 soundstages up to 32,000 sq ft in size that can accommodate TV show shoots and full-length feature film work. But Apple is mainly looking for office space, albeit in an iconic location that signals their ambitions to become a big player in Hollywood.

Apple and The Culver Studios declined to comment on the report, but the move makes sense given that Apple recently set aside $1 billion to acquire and produce original television content over the next year to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon.

That budget is said to be controlled by Hollywood veterans Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who were hired by Apple in June from Sony to oversee content acquisition and video strategy. Apple also recently hired former WGN America President Matt Cherniss to oversee development of the company's worldwide video unit. Erlicht and Van Amberg oversaw the production of hit shows like Breaking Bad and The Crown, while Cherniss previously worked with the two to bring the Sony shows Underground and Outsiders to WGN.

One of the first acquisitions Apple is said to be vying for is a "high-profile drama" starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, set on a morning TV chat show, according to FT. The company is reportedly bidding against Netflix and others for rights to the drama, according to people familiar with the discussions, indicating that Apple is looking to procure premium productions similar to those found on HBO.

At the same time, Apple is struggling to catch up with its rivals in the original content space and is still looking to get at least one hit under its belt, with recent video efforts "Planet of the Apps" and "Carpool Karaoke" released on Apple Music generally failing to excite audiences. Meanwhile, the company's Apple TV set top box has lost market share to rivals like Roku, Amazon's Fire TV, and Google's Chromecast due to its high price and lack of 4K content.

Despite challenges, the scale of Apple's new budget and hiring efforts are said to be making some in Hollywood believe that this time the company is more committed to breaking into the film and TV industry. Apple is also rumored to be releasing a new Apple TV with support for 4K content and HDR video output at its upcoming media event on September 12.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
34 months ago
Why does Apple need to produce content? They are turning into Sony (i.e. in the 90s) and they are losing focus. Jack of all trades, master of none.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
34 months ago

Why does Apple need to produce content? They are turning into Sony (i.e. in the 90s) and they are losing focus. Jack of all trades, master of none.


Smartwatches, smartphones, tablets and digital music stores are four "trades" they are masters of at this moment in time.

Tim is lost in space and has stars in his eyes. He is like the son who gets an inheritance and blows it.


If I gave my son an inheritance and this is how he blew it, I'd be totally fine with that.





Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
34 months ago
Oh my, Tim Cook. The Culver Studios is where Gone With The Wind was filmed. You know, that racist, Confederacy loving movie that is now being banned from showing in theaters because of its offensive content.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
34 months ago


Tim is lost in space and has stars in his eyes. He is like the son who gets an inheritance and blows it.


I think the more apt analogy is that TC is like the son who tries to grow from under his father's shadow but can never get there. I mean TC isn't sitting on his laurels. He's trying to come up with new things. It's just his new things are either half-baked or far fetched and out of his depth. He is making money on the old Job's-era categories so he's not blowing it, just kind of fumbling and lucky he has the iPhone.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
34 months ago
If apple is fighting for a piece of the content pie. Why start with a bunch of crappy reality channel stuff?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
34 months ago



Apple have been "doomed" every year since 1976.

Here's to their being "doomed" for the next 40+ years, cheers!


Bit of revisionist history. Apple started floundering just before Jobs was removed the first time until he was brought back in '97. Sculley, Spindler, Amelio were disasters that pushed Apple to being days away from bankruptcy. Make no mistake Apple was "doomed" in 1996.

But MS funded Apple to keep it alive and some competition (it was in the midst of an antitrust action) and the BOD crawled back to Jobs because it recognized only his NeXT OS could save Apple after it was clear Apple's Copeland project was an unfixable hot mess.

Even after Jobs returned it took him about 10 years for the stock to go from a split adjusted .70/share to $12. Jobs turned around Apple's image with the iMac, the iBook, The TiBook, Airport, iPod and iTunes Store, and other goodies. But Apple really only became a true powerhouse when the iPhone was announced. In the 10 year period between the iPhone announcement and now AAPL has gone from a split adjusted $13 to $164.

Those of us who have had the "privilege" of knowing Apple for its entire existence understand Cook is no Jobs -- hard to duplicate him, but does have traits of the CEO's that followed Jobs when he left Apple in the 80s.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Seemingly Unreleased Version of Logic Pro X With Live Loops Appears on Apple's Education Site [Updated]

Sunday March 29, 2020 7:23 am PDT by Hartley Charlton
Update: Apple has replaced the Logic Pro X image with an older version. Original story follows. A seemingly unreleased version of Logic Pro X has appeared on Apple's education site, as spotted by a Reddit user. The image from Apple's education products page shows a 16-inch MacBook Pro running Logic Pro X, but with a familiar interface that looks extremely similar to GarageBand's Live Loops ...

Zoom Updates iOS App to Stop Sending Data to Facebook

Friday March 27, 2020 5:35 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Zoom, a video conferencing app that many people are using at the current time to keep in touch with coworkers while working from home, was sending data to Facebook without disclosing the data sharing to customers. As of today, Zoom has updated its iOS app to remove the SDK that was providing data to Facebook through the Login with Facebook feature, according to Motherboard, the site that...

Apple Suppliers Worried About iPhone Demand, Production Ramp-Up for New iPhones Reportedly Postponed

Friday March 27, 2020 5:56 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Most of the factories in China that supply devices and components to Apple are back to churning out products, but Apple suppliers are said to be worried about how much demand there will be for the current iPhone models and the new iPhones expected in the fall. According to Reuters, a senior official at one of Apple's major supply companies said that orders for quarter ending in March are...

2020 iPad Pro Teardown Provides Closer Look at LiDAR Scanner and Confirms Incremental Update

Saturday March 28, 2020 9:56 am PDT by Hartley Charlton
iFixit today shared a video teardown of the new iPad Pro, which Apple unveiled earlier this month. iFixit found that most of the internals of the 2020 iPad Pro are the same as the 2018 model, confirming that the device is a relatively incremental update. The most notable new feature seen inside the new iPad Pro was the LiDAR scanner, which measures the distance to surrounding objects up...

Apple Watch Series 6 Could Feature Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor, Pulse Oximetry and Sleep Tracking Support

Friday March 27, 2020 11:28 am PDT by Juli Clover
The upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 set to be released this fall could include a Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into the crown of the device, according to Israeli site The Verifier, which cites "senior sources" who have worked with its staff for a "number of years" as the source of the rumor. It's not clear how the alleged Touch ID fingerprint sensor would be implemented, as the Digital...

Bloomberg: Apple's 5G iPhone Still on Schedule for Fall Launch, But Future Products Could Be Delayed

Monday March 30, 2020 2:40 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple's 5G iPhone is still on track to launch within the company's typical annual fall release schedule, according to a new Bloomberg report on filed on Monday. Signs are that Apple's Chinese-centric manufacturing -- of which Hon Hai is the linchpin -- is slowly getting back on track. The next iPhones with 5G wireless capabilities remain on schedule to launch in the fall, partly because mass...

Kuo: Apple to Launch Several Macs With Arm-Based Processors in 2021, USB4 Support Coming to Macs in 2022

Thursday March 26, 2020 8:19 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple plans to launch several Mac notebooks and desktop computers with its own custom designed Arm-based processors in 2021, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Kuo believes that Arm-based processors will significantly enhance the competitive advantage of the Mac lineup, allow Apple to refresh its Mac models without relying on Intel's processor roadmap,...

Top Stories: Hands-On With 2020 iPad Pro and MacBook Air, iOS and iPadOS 13.4 Released, iPhone 12 Delay?

Saturday March 28, 2020 6:00 am PDT by MacRumors Staff
After last week's flurry of product launches, Apple's new iPad Pro and MacBook Air have started to make their way into consumers' hands, and we've gone hands-on with both of them this week. Apple this week also released iOS and iPadOS 13.4 (as well as macOS, watchOS, and tvOS updates) with a number of new features and improvements. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...

Deals: Huge Refurbished iPhone Sale Discounts iPhone 7, 8, X, XR, and XS (From $120)

Friday March 27, 2020 5:47 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
Woot is back today with a big sale on refurbished iPhones, including markdowns on the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Woot. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. As with every Woot purchase, those...

Apple Releases ProRes RAW Beta for Windows

Monday March 30, 2020 9:33 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released ProRes RAW for Windows in a beta capacity (via Mark Gurman), with the software designed to allow ProRes RAW and ProRes RAW HQ video files to be watched in compatible applications on Windows machines. According to Apple, the software will let the files be played within several Adobe apps: Adobe After Effects (Beta) Adobe Media Encocder (Beta) Adobe Premiere...