Amblin Entertainment produced the film, which was intended to be distributed by Universal Pictures in theaters this August. With its purchase from Amblin, Apple TV Plus has renamed the movie “Finch.” The company has yet to set an official release date, but sources say it’s aiming for late 2021.
Insiders suggest the pic was sold to Apple TV Plus due to the impaired theatrical landscape. Though the movie theater business appears to be on the mend after nearly a year of COVID-19-related closures, some executives think “Finch” will be better served on a streaming service, given the crowded release schedule in 2021. Though nothing is official, the film likely won’t play on the big screen at all.
The sale marks the second Hanks film to debut on the budding Apple TV Plus following “Greyhound,” a WWII drama that was originally set at Sony Pictures. Apple TV Plus reported that the movie generated the streaming service’s largest opening weekend, but it didn’t provide any metrics to quantify that statistic. Moreover, Apple TV Plus has unveiled fewer than 10 films so that’s not necessarily a difficult benchmark to set.
Since its launch in late 2019, Apple has been making moves to bulk up its movie and TV offerings. It shelled out an eye-popping $25 million for “Coda,” a feel-good film that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and it recently acquired Antoine Fuqua’s “Emancipation.” Apple TV Plus also shelled out a massive $200 million to become the home for Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” a Western crime drama starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.
“Finch” was directed by Miguel Sapochnik, best known for his work on HBO’s fantasy epic “Game of Thrones.” Craig Luck wrote the script with Ivor Powell. The post-apocalyptic drama follows the last man on Earth, an ailing inventor name Finch (Hanks). As he nears death, he builds an android to protect his beloved dog. The cast also includes Caleb Landry Jones, Samira Wiley and Skeet Ulrich.
Deadline Hollywood first reported news of the sale.