So, earlier today, Lucas Shaw and Mark Gurman at Bloomberg wrote of Apple apparently looking to build out the Apple TV+ library with non-original content:
The company’s video-programming executives have taken pitches from Hollywood studios about licensing older content for TV+ and have bought some shows and movies, according to people familiar with the matter.
The move represents a subtle strategy shift for Apple TV+, which launched in November with a lineup of original programs. The company plans to keep TV+ focused on original shows, and hasn’t yet acquired any huge franchises or blockbusters for its back catalog, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.
I don’t know if this is part of the same initiative, but word has just broke thanks to Mike Fleming Jr. at Deadline that the Tom Hanks written-and-led film Greyhound (previously) is now moving from being a theatrical release, planned for June 12, 2020 from Sony Pictures…to a direct Apple TV+ release:
In a real shocker, the WWII battleship drama Greyhound that Tom Hanks wrote and stars in has abruptly changed course and will berth at Apple. Originally on the Sony Pictures theatrical calendar for Father’s Day weekend, the film instead will become the biggest feature film commitment made by Apple to premiere on Apple TV+. It is the latest in a growing indication that Apple is making its move, and becoming as aggressive as any streamer or studio in auctions for the acquisition of films and TV projects.
This is the latest theatrical-to-streaming shift, which has included:
- Early releases of The Invisible Man, The Hunt and Emma. as premium VOD rentals
- Trolls World Tour skipping theaters and going straight to VOD (which has caused a frenzy within the industry)
- Scoob! also forgoing theaters and hitting VOD this past weekend
- The future release of the comedy The Lovebirds being sold by Paramount directly to Netflix, hitting this week
- MGM selling the Jackass-esq Bad Trip to Netflix
- The future streaming only release of American Pickle, starring Seth Rogen, going from a Sony Pictures theatrical film to an HBO Max-exclusive
What’s next? Stay tuned.