Sony Pictures had planned a major theatrical release but with theaters closed Greyhound, which Tom Hanks wrote and stars in, will premiere on Apple TV+ instead.
World War II drama
The coronavirus pandemic has upended Hollywood. Universal was the first studio to release a major title, Trolls World Tour, as 'premium VOD'. Warner Bros followed suit last week with Scoob! and Disney has cancelled its planned theatrical releases of Hamilton and Artemis Fowl, moving both titles to Disney+.
Sony Pictures has now sold one of its biggest titles this year to Apple. World War II naval drama Greyhound, which Tom Hanks wrote and stars in, was supposed to hit theaters in mid-June but as coronavirus pandemic keeps movie theaters Sony was forced to seek alternatives.
The news was first reported by Deadline as "a real shocker" and has since been confirmed by Sony Pictures.
- "The only thing more dangerous than the front lines was the fight to get there. Screenplay by Tom Hanks inspired by actual events, Greyhound is coming soon to Apple TV+," said Sony Pictures.
Apple's biggest movie acquisition
Apple reportedly paid $70 million for 15 years of streaming rights, according to CNBC. That would make it Apple's biggest movie acquisition to date and it is a clear signal that Apple is prepared to invest big sums in its video streaming service.
- "This is also the first time that Hanks, one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, has foregone the big screen and is going straight to streaming – a decision that the star himself had to approve before Sony and Apple made the deal, according to these people."Also read: What is Apple TV+? Everything you need to know
This week, Bloomberg reported that Apple is "acquiring older movies and shows for its TV+ streaming service, aiming to build a back catalog of content that can better stack up against the huge libraries available on Netflix, Hulu and Disney+" and that about 10 million subscribers had signed up for Apple TV+ as of February 2020 - far behind Netflix and Disney+.
Greyhound is "coming soon" to Apple TV+.
- Source: Sony Pictures, Deadline, CNBC, Bloomberg