In a clear statement of intent, Apple is partnering with A24 in a multi-year pact that sees the digital giant commission a film slate for the first time.
A24 will produce the films and it is understood the deal will not cover all of the company’s releases. A24 produces its own content and distributes third-party content.
The notoriously press-shy companies declined to offer any detail, however the arrangement indicates a desire at Apple to champion highly distinctive fare, which sources have told Screendaily on a number of occasions will be one of the hallmarks of its content business.
While much interest will surround Apple’s push to carry original films, it remained unclear at time of writing whether the titles would get a theatrical uplift.
The highly capitalised company has already announced a raft of TV projects this year, teaming up with the likes of Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston on a morning show drama series, and Steven Spielberg on the Amazing Stories genre reboot.
It clearly has the money and has been cutting talent deals to represent a threat to Netflix, Amazon Studios and Hulu as a purveyor of content, although it has plenty of catching up to do.
Rumours of its arrival as a buyer in the markets have abounded for a couple of years now, yet it has not happened, possibly because Apple already knows what Netflix and Amazon Studios have learned, which is that the greatest long-term value in terms of building a sustainable, distinctive brand is to own original content.
A24’s current releases include Jonah Hill’s acclaimed feature directorial debut mid90s, high school drama Eighth Grade, and Toni Collette horror Hereditary.