Apple's Hollywood ambitions


'Apple's Hollywood ambitions' Articles

Apple and BBC Co-Producing Comedy Series Starring Imelda Staunton From Harry Potter

Apple is teaming up with the BBC to co-produce an eight-part comedy-drama series with a working title of "Alabama," according to a report from British comedy website Chortle highlighted by Engadget. Imelda Staunton Written by former stand-up Andy Wolton, the show will reportedly star Imelda Staunton, who is best known for her performance in the British comedy television series "Up the Garden Path" and for playing Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter movies "Order of the Phoenix" and part one of "Deathly Hallows." The series is reportedly in production and is slated to air worldwide next year on Apple's upcoming streaming video service, Apple TV+. Apple and BBC declined to comment on the series, and plot details have yet to be revealed. Apple TV+ will feature dozens of original TV shows and movies with stars such as Steve Carell, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Oprah Winfrey. The service is set to launch in over 100 countries in the fall within the Apple TV app on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, and

Upcoming Apple TV+ Sci-Fi Drama 'See' Reported to Cost $15 Million Per Episode

Apple has several original TV shows in the works for its upcoming Apple TV+ streaming service, and a new report by The Wall Street Journal looks at the big budgets involved in these productions as competition hots up among rival streaming services eager to win over audiences in a market dominated by the likes of Netflix and HBO. According to the report, Amazon and Netflix have increased budgets for original content in the last few years. Netflix originally spent $4.5 million per episode on "House of Cards," but now many newcomers are having to spend between $8 million and $15 million per episode on original content to compete with established services. For example, Disney's Star Wars spinoff "The Mandalorian" costs nearly $15 million per episode, according to people who spoke to WSJ. As for Apple, it is said to be spending nearly $15 million per episode to produce sci-fi drama "See," which stars Jason Momoa of "Game of Thrones" and Aquaman fame. In the case of Apple's "See," the cost has neared $15 million for each roughly 60-minute episode, according to a person familiar with the matter. That is more than the cost of a typical independent feature film. "See," set centuries in the future after a virus has wiped out much of Earth's population and left survivors blind, appears to be taking cues from the "Game of Thrones" playbook of cinematic world-building. Footage shown at Apple’s programming event featured Mr. Momoa ready-set for battle alongside dozens of actors in sweeping vistas filmed in the fields and forests of British Columbia.These kinds of figures

Apple's Oscar-Winning Ambitions to be Spearheaded By Six Original Movies a Year, With a Budget up to $30 Million per Film

Apple plans to produce six small-budget movies a year with an eye toward stories that could win Academy Awards, according to The New York Post. The Post's sources claim Apple wants to spend between $5-$30 million on each movie, and that it has already approached "elevated" directors and other film talent about bankrolling projects with Oscar-winning potential. Apple is looking to spend $5 million to $30 million per project, sources said, adding that the company is being driven by Netflix’s recent spate of Oscar nominations and win for Best Foreign Film with "Roma" — legitimizing Netflix head Reed Hastings' standing in Hollywood. "They are taking meetings and hiring," one agency source said of Apple, adding that the meetings are being generated by the company's original feature films unit, headed by Matt Dentler, formerly of iTunes Movies.According to the report, Apple's search for six small-budget movies is not related to its multiyear agreement to make films with A23, the studio that produced the Oscar-winning "Moonlight." Apple is working on dozens of original TV shows and movies with high-profile directors, producers, and actors, with all of that content set to be available through a new Apple TV+ app that's going to be released this fall. Check out our dedicated roundup to learn everything that we know so far about Apple's new streaming TV service.

Dinosaur Documentary Series 'Prehistoric Planet' Coming to Apple TV+ From Producer Jon Favreau

Apple has greenlit a new project from producer/director Jon Favreau for Apple TV+, called "Prehistoric Planet." The series is said to provide a look at the last days of the dinosaurs using CGI to recreate the events (via Variety). Image by John Salangsang via Shutterstock/Variety Favreau is known for directing films like "Iron Man," the live-action version of "The Jungle Book" and the upcoming reboot of "The Lion King." He will partner with "Planet Earth II" producer Mike Gunton on Apple's new series, which will be produced by BBC Studios' Natural History Unit. Apple announced Apple TV+ in March during an event filled with various celebrities, including Oprah, Jason Momoa, and Steven Spielberg. The company's streaming service is set to launch in the fall of 2019 and it will be housed in the existing TV app. Besides documentaries and natural history series like "Prehistoric Planet," Apple TV+ will include numerous scripted dramatic and comedic shows. These include "The Morning Show," "See," "Truth Be Told," "Dickinson," an adaptation of Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" book series, and more. You can see every show coming to Apple TV+ right here.

Apple Inks Deal for 'Lisey's Story' TV Show Written by Stephen King and Starring Julianne Moore

Apple has given a straight to series order for eight episodes of "Lisey's Story," a TV show based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Julianne Moore is set to star in the series, while Stephen King will write all eight episodes in addition to executive producing. As The Hollywood Reporter points out, King does not often write for TV shows, making "Lisey's Story" notable. Image credit: Getty Images via The Hollywood Reporter In the past, King has called "Lisey's Story" one of his favorite books, and one that he'd love to see turned into a television series. The novel, which is a psychological horror with romance elements, is split between Lisey's life in the present time and her dead husband's life (a famous novelist) as she remembers it. Lisey begans to remember things about her husband that she had suppressed while being terrorized in the present by a former fan of her husband's. Along with King and Moore, the series also boasts J.J. Abrams and Ben Stephenson of Bad Robot Productions as executive producers. This is the third series Abrams is working on for Apple, as he is also developing "Little Voice" with Sara Bareilles and "My Glory Was I Had Such Friends" with Jennifer Garner. Julianne Moore has recently starred in movies that include "Kingsman: The Golden Circle," "Bel Canto," "Gloria Bell," and "Suburbicon," but she has not been in a television series since her stint on "As the World Turns" in the 80s, with the exception of a few appearances on "30 Rock." Apple currently has more than two dozen television

WSJ on Apple's Video Service: Starz, Showtime, and HBO to Cost $9.99 Per Month, Roku May Gain Apple TV App

The Wall Street Journal has outlined its expectations for Apple's media event tomorrow at Steve Jobs Theater, where the company is expected to introduce subscription-based services for movies and TV shows, magazines and newspapers, and possibly games. The keynote begins Monday at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. As we've heard previously, the report claims Apple plans to unveil the first footage from some of its new original TV shows at the event. Hollywood stars such as actress Reese Witherspoon and director J.J. Abrams have been invited to attend. The report claims Apple plans to charge a fee for its original content, despite some sources previously saying it would be free to Apple device owners. Apple's revamped TV app will make it easier to subscribe to networks such as Starz, Showtime and HBO, with which Apple has been "negotiating to offer their shows to users for $9.99 a month each." It's unclear if that means each network will cost $9.99 per month or if each user will pay $9.99 per month total. Apple is said to be negotiating to bring its new TV app to multiple platforms, including Roku and smart TVs. This could refer to an expansion of the new iTunes movies and TV shows app coming to Samsung's latest smart TVs to other leading TV brands such as Sony and LG and to cheaper brands such as TCL and Sharp via Roku. Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio already announced that their latest smart TVs are gaining AirPlay 2 support, enabling users to stream video, audio, photos, and other content directly from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to the big screen. Apple and Roku are also

Apple Considered Offering Original TV Content Free to Customers Who Bought AppleCare

Apple will debut its rumored television service on Monday, and ahead of the event, The Washington Post has shared some new details on the planning that has gone into Apple's TV service. When deciding how to distribute its original television content and at what cost, Apple reportedly considered offering free television shows to customers who paid the extra fee for AppleCare for their Mac and iOS devices. Apple also considered an offering through the Apple TV, and recent rumors have suggested that the content Apple offers will actually be provided through the TV app on iOS devices and the company's set-top box. There's also a possibility that Apple will distribute its content outside of its own platform as well, which is something else the company has mulled. Apple's plans are still not clear to industry insiders and Hollywood executives, and one source that provided the above info to The Washington Post said that Apple's plans have changed multiple times."Whatever they try to sell on Monday, it's not what they started with and they are trying to figure out what kind of engine to put in while the plane is in the air," the executive said.Film and TV creators who are working with Apple have been left in the dark about the company's plans and do not know if content will be exclusive to Apple users or available to everyone. Creators received "obfuscation and ambiguous responses" when asking about distribution, with some speculating that Apple may not have made up its mind about the finer details of the streaming service."Apple is the only company in the world that

Apple Plans to Sell Bundles of Cable TV Channels Through New Streaming Service

While Apple's new TV streaming service will include its own original content, Apple will also be offering customers access to video streaming subscriptions from third-party services, such as HBO and Showtime. Part of this effort could potentially include bundles of channels from various content providers, according to new reports from Recode and The Information. Apple has negotiated rights to bundle streaming services together as part of its deals with media firms, which will allow it to offer packages of channels like HBO, Showtime, and Starz at a price that's lower than what each service would cost on a standalone basis. From Recode:That wholesale/retail relationship also means Apple, not the streamers, can set the price for the stuff it sells. Apple isn't likely to sell, say, HBO for less than HBO sells itself on rival platforms like Roku. But it definitely plans to sell bundles of pay tv channels at a discount, just like pay TV operators have always done.It's not entirely clear when Apple plans to offer bundles like these, but providing discounted access to a group of channels would provide Apple with an edge over Amazon. Amazon, as The Information points out, allows customers to sign up for streaming services like Showtime through their Amazon account, but customers must pay full price. According to Recode, Apple's service isn't going to be a major Netflix or Hulu competitor because the focus is going to be on selling streaming video subscriptions from other companies and taking a cut of the transaction. Apple is working on original content, but its own

'Downton Abbey' Star Michelle Dockery and 'IT' Actor Jaeden Martell Join Apple Series 'Defending Jacob'

Michelle Dockery, best know for her role as Lady Mary Crawley in PBS's "Downton Abbey," has signed on to star in "Defending Jacob," one of the TV shows Apple has ordered. "Defending Jacob" is a thriller based on William Landay's bestselling novel of the same title. The book covers the murder of a 14-year-old boy and his friend Jacob, who may have committed the crime. Image credit: Shutterstock Described as a character-driven thriller, the show will star Chris Evans and also Jaeden Martell, who starred in the recent remake of Stephen King's "IT." Evans will be playing Andy Barber, the father of a 14 year old (played by Martell) accused of murder. Dockery will be playing Laurie Barber, Andy's wife and Jacob's mother. Apple has more than a dozen television shows in the works, and the company is set to give us a first look at its upcoming streaming service on Monday, March 25 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

Netflix CEO Confirms Netflix Won't Be Part of Apple's Upcoming Video Service

Apple is set to unveil its long-rumored TV service next Monday, and ahead of the event, Netflix has confirmed that it won't be participating in Apple's streaming offering. At a briefing at the company's headquarters in Hollywood, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that while Apple is a "great company," Netflix isn't interested in offering its content on other platforms. "We want to have people watch our shows on our services," he said, according to Recode. Netflix has never embraced Apple TV features like "Up Next" designed to allow Apple TV users to see all of their watched TV shows at a glance, so it's no surprise to hear that Netflix does not plan to offer its content through Apple's upcoming streaming service. Set to be launched next week, Apple's TV offering will feature both its original content and add-on content from other cable providers like Showtime and HBO. Apple will allow customers to sign up for subscriptions to third-party services like HBO right within the TV app, which will serve as Apple's TV content hub. Apple's video hub will be similar to what Amazon offers through its Prime Video app. Amazon provides original TV shows along with options to subscribe to premium content through a Channels feature. In response to a question about how Netflix will compete with Apple and Amazon going forward, Hastings said the company will do so "with difficulty," though he pointed out that Netflix has already been competing with Amazon for years. "You do your best job when you have great competitors," he said, before admitting that the

Apple Has Wrapped Filming on Five Original TV Shows Ahead of Streaming Service Launch

In one week, Apple will host a media event in California focused mainly on details about its upcoming TV streaming service. This week, The New York Times published a report about the state of a few shows on the service, hinting at which ones might be available at launch, the issues some partners have with Apple's plans, and more. According to the story, around 11 projects have either completed filming or are nearing the end of filming, meaning they are the likeliest to appear in the "first wave" of shows on Apple's service. While we'll get the first glimpse at Apple's streaming service next week, the full service isn't expected to launch until later in the year. Shows that have finished shooting include "Are You Sleeping?" starring Octavia Spencer; Ronald D. Moore's "For All Mankind"; M. Night Shyamalan's thriller series; Charlie Day and Rob McElhenney's unnamed comedy; and "Dickinson" starring Hailee Steinfeld. Looking forward, the number of original Apple productions is expected to increase in 2020. Apple is said to be using this event to show customers "just how many shows [it] has pulled together," and that its streaming service will be worth checking out at launch. Combined with content purchased from third parties, Apple's offering could put it on par with the size of Hulu, Showtime, or FX, according to The New York Times. Previous rumors have suggested the launch lineup would be predominantly third party content. More than a dozen people who have had dealings with Apple's TV service did reference concerns about the project in this week's report. Many

Apple Will Reportedly Screen Original Content for Top Awards Like Oscars and Emmys

Ahead of its widely expected video service unveil on March 25, Apple is hiring strategists to arrange screenings and other publicity events for Hollywood insiders and others who vote on which movies and TV shows win prestigious awards like Oscars and Emmys, according to Bloomberg's Anousha Sakoui and Mark Gurman. From the report:Apple is forming a team of people with awards strategy experience. In January, it hired one such person from Walt Disney Co.'s television group. The iPhone maker is also seeking a high-level candidate to oversee the process, one of the people familiar with the situation said. The company could be in the running for Emmy awards as early as 2020, according to people familiar with the process.Apple already has dozens of original TV shows and movies lined up for the service, including an unnamed morning show drama starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell. Apple would be following in the footsteps of other streaming video services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, which have all had original content nominated for awards like Oscars and Emmys in the past few years. As the report notes, winning awards could attract higher-profile directors and actors to Apple. The report also claims that Apple will charge for some content, while other video will be free for Apple device users, backing up a CNBC report.

Apple Formally Orders 'Pachinko' TV Series Based on Bestselling Novel

Apple has given a formal series order for "Pachinko," a drama based on the bestselling novel of the same name, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "Pachinko," written by Min Jin Lee, chronicles the lives of four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family as they migrate to and establish a life in Japan. Apple first acquired the rights to a TV show based on the book in August 2018. The novel begins in 1911 with the birth of Sunja, who becomes involved with a married yakuza, falling pregnant and facing ruin in her small village. The town's minister offers her a new life in Japan as his wife, where she is alone, lost, and unable to speak the language. The book then follows the Sunja's family through eight decades and four generations. The TV adaptation of "Pachinko" will be written and produced by Soo Hugh, who will also serve as showrunner. Hugh has previously worked on "The Terror," "The Whispers," "Under the Dome," and "The Killing." Eight episodes are planned so far. Apple has more than a dozen original TV shows in the works, which will be distributed through an upcoming streaming service that will be made available in the TV app. Apple is hosting a March 25 event at its headquarters in Cupertino, California, where it is expected to unveil details on the TV

Apple in Content Talks With Owner of Fremantle, Co-Producer of American Idol and Other Reality Shows

RTL Group, the largest broadcasting and production company in Europe, has confirmed a potential content partnership with Apple. "Discussions with new OTT platforms such as Apple are also being held," said RTL Group CEO Bert Habets, speaking on the company's earnings call today, according to Deadline. OTT is short for over-the-top media services and presumably refers to Apple's widely expected streaming video service. RTL Group owns Fremantle, which co-produces reality series and game shows such as American Idol, America's Got Talent, The Price is Right, and Family Feud in the United States. It is unclear if any of these series would be distributed on Apple's video service or if a partnership would focus solely on original content. Apple is expected to unveil its video platform at its March 25 event at Steve Jobs Theater. The company already has dozens of original TV shows and movies lined up for the service, including an unnamed morning show drama starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell. Multiple reports indicate that Apple plans to launch the video service by April or May, with a rollout to more than 100 countries expected by the end of the year. A subscription format is expected, but pricing remains a question

Apple 'Racing' to Sign HBO, Showtime, and Starz for TV Service Before March 25 Event

Apple has already invited members of the press to an event on March 25, where it's believed the company will reveal its TV streaming service and Apple News subscription service. Today, Bloomberg has shared a few new details about the upcoming event, suggesting that Apple may preview new Apple Pay features and that most of Apple's original TV shows will miss the streaming service's launch window. Additionally, Apple is said to be "racing" to secure movies and TV shows from partner companies ahead of the event. According to people familiar with the matter, Apple is offering concessions to partners in order to get deals done by a Friday deadline. These include HBO, Showtime, and Starz. "At least a couple deals" are expected to close by Friday, but it's unclear if Apple will get all the programming from outside media companies that it wants for its streaming service. Today's report claims that most of the shows and movies on the streaming service at launch will be from outside partners, not Apple's own shows, so the company is attempting to ensure that there is plenty of content to entice customers to check the service out. At an all-hands meeting with employees in January after announcing disappointing holiday sales, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook told employees how critical services are to the company’s future. This trio of new services will be the first major addition to the portfolio for consumers since the company launched Apple Pay in 2014 and Apple Music a year later. The idea of an Apple services bundle is also brought up again in

Apple's Upcoming 'Time Bandits' Series to Be Directed by Taika Waititi

Taika Watiti, known for his work on "Thor: Ragnarok," will direct Apple's adaptation of Terry Gilliam's 1981 fantasy television series "Time Bandits," reports Variety. Apple acquired the rights to the "Time Bandits" series back in the summer of 2018. The original show featured the story of an imaginative 11-year-old boy named Kevin who was sucked into a fantastical adventure with a band of dwarves during the Napoleonic Wars in Italy. Kevin and the band of dwarves travel through time using a magical map, visiting ancient Greece, the Titanic, and more, all while fighting off an evil being intent on stealing the time travel map. The original film starred John Cleese, Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, Kenny Baker, David Warner, Ian Holm, Katherine Helmond, Jim Broadbent, and others. In addition to "Thor: Ragnarok," Waititi is known for his work on "What We Do in the Shadows" and "Hunt for the Wilderpeople." He is also directing a "What We Do in the Shadows" television series for

Captain Marvel's Brie Larson to Star as Undercover CIA Operative in Upcoming Apple Series

Apple has placed a straight-to-series order for an untitled drama series based on the life experiences of undercover CIA operative Amaryllis Fox and her upcoming memoir Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA, according to Variety. The report claims Brie Larson will both star in and produce the series, described as a look at a young woman's journey in the CIA. In addition to starring as Carol Danvers in the upcoming Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame films, Larson had an Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning role in the 2015 film Room. Michael Ellenberg and Lynette Howell Taylor will also serve as executive producers, according to the report. Ellenberg is also producing Apple's morning show drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, who were both reportedly invited to Apple's expected streaming video service reveal on March 25. Apple has ordered dozens of TV shows and movies for the video service, expected to launch in more than 100 countries later this year. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Hollywood Producers Say 'Intrusive' Apple Executives and 'Lack of Clarity' Impeding Original Content Efforts

Apple CEO Tim Cook and other executives are getting deeply involved with the behind-the-scenes production of the company's original television shows, which are set to debut later this year. Apple has been "difficult" to deal with on the project, according to unnamed agents and producers working with Apple on its foray into streaming TV (via The New York Post). Cook and other executives have been described as "intrusive," with the biggest complaint involving numerous notes that Apple has been sending streaming partners as they watch each show and contribute their opinion. Other sources stated there has been a "lack of transparency" and "lack of clarity" on what Apple wants throughout the process. One agent noted that Apple has been "very involved," explaining that writers and directors typically prefer to work without heavy oversight from higher-ups in corporate. This involvement has included a repeated note sent by Cook telling producers and showrunners, "don't be so mean!" It's unclear which shows this note has been sent to, and how many. “Tim Cook is giving notes and getting involved,” said a producer who has worked with Apple. One of the CEO’s most repeated notes is “don’t be so mean!,” the source said. Cook has visited the sets of multiple shows, including the Vancouver set of See, a futuristic science fiction show, and the Los Angeles set of the morning show drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. In terms of the launch, Apple's nitpicking over content and technology has caused numerous delays, and content partners are said to

Streaming TV Service Revenue Will Be a 'Drop in the Bucket' for Apple, Even If It Rivals Netflix

Analyst Tim O'Shea recently published a new research report looking at the impact of Apple's upcoming streaming TV service on the company's overall financial earnings (via Business Insider). According to O'Shea, even if Apple priced the service at $15/month (and took a 30 percent cut, while the rest went to video production partners), the resulting revenue would just be "a drop in the bucket." O'Shea predicted that if Apple could get to 250 million subscribers by 2023, it would earn the company $13.5 billion in revenue and account for about 5 percent of the company's revenue that year. Not only that, but 250 million subscribers in four years is a generous prediction, given it took Netflix 12 years to reach its 139 million subscribers as of January 2019. "It's going take a long time for this type of service to really move the needle," O'Shea told Business Insider. To figure out the potential of the video service, which Apple is widely expected to launch next month, O'Shea estimated that Apple would charge customers $15 a month and take a 30% cut, giving the rest to video production partners If the service is extremely successful and attracts 250 million subscribers, it would yield $13.5 billion in revenue for Apple. That's nothing to sneeze at. After all, Netflix's total sales last year were $15.8 billion. But in the context of Apple, such a figure would be just a drop in the bucket. In fiscal 2018, the company posted revenue of $265 billion. Though O'Shea and other analysts expect Apple's sales to drop sharply this year before slowly recovering in coming ones,

Apple to Announce TV Service at March 25 Event, But Launch is Months Off

While Apple is planning to preview its rumored streaming TV service at an event that's set to be held on March 25, a launch may not happen for several months. According to sources that spoke to Variety, Apple will announce the service in March, but it may not be available to customers until the summer, or as late as fall. Sources familiar with the plans say Apple's video service will be targeted for a launch in summer or fall rather than the April timing that has been the subject of media speculation. Apple has vowed to its high-caliber producing partners to mount marketing blitzes on behalf of the shows in addition to the service itself.Apple has more than two dozen original television shows in the works, many of which have already been cast. It's not clear if filming has started, but holding the launch of the service until at least some of the shows are available would make sense. Apple has not yet announced its March 25 event, but multiple rumors from well-respected sites have indicated that's the date when it will be held. The March 25 event will be focused on services, and Apple is not expected to debut new hardware even though there are multiple rumors of products getting a spring refresh. We could instead see devices like the AirPower, iPad mini 5, new AirPods, a seventh-generation iPad, and a seventh-generation iPod touch announced via press release given that these are all minor updates. Major stars that include Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell, all of whom have roles in Apple shows, have been invited to attend the March