Tom Hanks‘ new WWII drama Greyhound, which he wrote and starred in, has moved from a Father’s Day weekend theatrical release from Sony Pictures to an Apple TV+ premiere, Deadline exclusively reported earlier today.
The move is a surprising one since it marks Apple TV+’s first acquisition of a major motion picture.
According to the article, the project was at the center of “a bidding battle between the big streamers,” with a deal ultimately closing “in the $70 million range.”
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Apple Inc. is attempting a strategy shift regarding its TV+ catalog. The company hopes to compete against other streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus, and Hulu. The decision to purchase and release Hanks’ latest film seems to indicate they are taking significant strides to beef up their back catalog.
Greyhound will premiere to more than 100 countries on its release date, which has not yet been announced but is expected to be soon.
The reason the film is being shuffled is due to the coronavirus pandemic fundamentally altering film studios’ release calendars.
As Deadline stated, Hanks has already been “indelibly linked to the pandemic” since he and his wife Rita Wilson were among the first celebrities to confirm they had tested positive for the virus publically.
They are believed to have contracted it while in Australia filming Hanks’ upcoming Elvis Presley biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann.
Deadline claimed their site crashed when they first broke the news, which seems to indicate Hanks unerring popularity. Apple’s acquisition could mean big things for their streaming service should his film successfully attract new subscribers eager to watch the actor’s latest movie.
Hanks will star in “this WWII film he wrote for himself to play George Krause, a career officer finally given command of a Navy destroyer Greyhound during the Battle of the Atlantic, which took place in the earliest months of America’s alliance with England and the Free Forces.”
Aside from fighting the tangible enemy, Krause will also have to fight “his self doubts and personal demons to prove he belongs.”
The film was initially slated to premiere in cinemas on May 7 before getting pushed back to the Father’s Day weekend of June 19. Then the pandemic caused studios around the world to reconsider their theatrical release plans.
“For Apple this is further indication the company is becoming a major player in features, as this marks its biggest picture commitment,” Deadline concluded.
Dozens of social media users expressed excitement over getting to watch the film from home, likely sooner than anticipated.