Apple is expected to hold an event on March 25 in which it officially launches its new video streaming service, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday. And some of the A-listers with projects that are part of the service, including Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, have been asked to attend.
According to the Bloomberg report, Apple has “invited” Aniston, Witherspoon, J.J. Abrams, and Jennifer Garner to the event. It is not confirmed that they will be there. Apple often brings celebrities to its product launches — most infamously, when U2 showed up to offer a free album to every iTunes user in 2014 — but in most cases their appearance is a surprise.
The service is expected to work similarly to Netflix and its existing competitors, with users paying a subscription fee for access to streaming content, including original shows produced by Apple. Apple is also planning to launch a new news product, most likely also at the March 25 event, and Apple has reportedly asked for half of its revenue from publishers participating in that product, per Recode. The video service is expected to launch this summer.
It’s unclear where the event would take place. Apple’s big events usually take place either in San Francisco or at its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., although the company also held events in Chicago and Brooklyn in 2018.
While Apple has not formally announced the new video service, individual projects have been announced over the course of the last two years. Perhaps the most high-profile of those projects is The Morning News, which stars Aniston and Witherspoon in the story of the behind-the-scenes at a network morning show. Also on the show are Steve Carell, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Billy Crudup, and Mark Duplass. Witherspoon played Aniston’s sister on a couple of episodes of Friends.
Apple invited Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner and JJ Abrams to the unveiling of its video and news subscription services on March 25 in Cupertino.https://t.co/Uli7i8k41J
— JP Mangalindan (@JPManga) February 13, 2019
Other original shows that Apple has in development, per Rotten Tomatoes, include the Steven Spielberg-produced anthology reboot Amazing Stories, a space drama from Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore, a new thriller series called Crumpet from M. Night Shyamalan, a J.J. Abrams-produced and Sara Bareilles -starring musical series called Little Voice, and a new comedy series from the creators of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Once Apple’s service launches, it will join a crowded field of streaming competitors, which currently includes Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and CBS All Access. In addition, Disney is expected to launch a service of its own this year, with similar offerings reportedly in the works from NBC Universal and Warner Media.