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Apple Entering Movie Biz? Animation Deal in the Works (Report)

Apple could be close to picking up its first feature-length movie: The technology company is in talks with Cartoon Saloon, the animation studio whose work includes Oscar-nominated films “The Secret of Kells,” “Song of the Sea” and “The Breadwinner,” Bloomberg reported.

The Bloomberg report, citing anonymous sources, provided no details of what the film might be about. The movie is at least one year away from being released and hasn’t started production yet, according to the report.

An Apple rep declined to comment. Cartoon Saloon, which is based in Kilkenny, Ireland, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple may possibly release the film theatrically and is negotiating rights for the U.S. and other territories, per the Bloomberg report. Under Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rules, films must meet a minimum threshold for theatrical distribution to qualify for Oscar contention.

Apple has kicked the tires on film projects before — but hasn’t pulled the trigger yet. It has greenlit a slew of TV series, under the leadership of the Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, whom Apple hired away from Sony Pictures Television last year.

So far, Apple hasn’t divulged any details about how it plans to release the original programming greenlit by Erlicht and Van Amburg’s Worldwide Video group. That could be a standalone subscription-video plan (like Netflix) or it might be part of a larger bundle of entertainment content.

The company is looking to debut its original series sometime next year, which could be as soon as March 2019 or sometime over the summer, the New York Times reported earlier this year.

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