Apple has acquired drama The Banker starring Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, Nia Long and Nicholas Hoult and is understood to be lining up an awards run for the feature this year.
The film joins a growing feature slate that includes Sundance acquisitions Hala and The Elephant Queen, the animation Wolfwalkers, and Sofia Coppola’s On The Rocks in partnership with A24.
The Banker will debut on Apple TV+ when the service launches in 100 countries in autumn. Apple did not comment on its awards-qualifying theatrical distribution plans. Academy rules stipulate a distributor must execute a theatrical release for a film in order to be eligible for Oscar consideration, and films that open in non-theatrical media on the same day as their theatrical release remain eligible.
The Banker is based on the true story of two African American entrepreneurs, Bernard Garrett (Mackie) and Joe Morris (Jackson), who try to get round the racial limitations of the 1950s by recruiting a working class white man, Matt Steiner (Hoult), to pose as the head of their business empire while they pose as a janitor and a chauffeur to monitor their businesses.
Garrett’s wife Eunice (Long), plays a key role in setting up the enterprise, and he Garrett and Morris go on to become wealthy real estate investors in California and covertly buy two banks in Jim Crow Texas with the goal of providing loans to the African American community. However their success brings unforeseen risks.
George Nolfi directed and Joel Viertel produced with Brad Feinstein (Fences) through his Romulus Entertainment, alongside Nolfi, Mackie, Nnamdi Asomugha, Jonathan Baker and David Smith. Niceole Levy, Nolfi, Smith and Stan Younger wrote the screenplay based on a story by Smith, Younger and Brad Caleb Kane.
Endeavor Content represented the filmmakers in the deal.