Tom Hanks’ World War II drama Greyhound will no longer have a theatrical run.
The naval drama was originally set to be unveiled in cinemas by Sony Pictures in June, but it was removed from the slate and left without a release date when Sony officials did a major reshuffle of their calendar due to coronavirus pandemic, which has caused the closure of movie theatres.
Many expected the movie to be released in cinemas at a later date, but in a surprising turn of events, it was announced by Deadline on Tuesday that the distribution rights to the film have been sold to Apple TV+, with bosses to debut it on their streaming service.
According to Deadline, the film was quietly shopped around and was involved in a bidding war between the big streaming services, with the report suggesting the deal closed in the range of $70 million (£57 million).
Greyhound will mark the biggest feature film commitment made by Apple to premiere on Apple TV+, which is less than a year old. It suggests that it is set to become a major player in film acquisition to boost its movie offering, which currently only consists of two narrative projects – Hala and The Banker – and two documentaries – The Elephant Queen and Beastie Boys Story.
Hanks wrote the screenplay for Greyhound. He plays Ernest Krause, a U.S. Navy Commander on his first wartime assignment in command of a multi-national escort group defending a merchant ship convoy under attack by submarines in early 1942 during the Battle of the Atlantic, only months after the U.S. officially entered World War II.
Apple has not set a release date yet, but the film will reportedly premiere in more than 100 countries.
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