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Apple's streaming video service casting director is Sony exec Tamara Hunter

Apple's new head of casting Tamara Hunter

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After what has been called an "extensive search," Apple has brought on Sony Pictures' Tamara Hunter to lead Apple's casting efforts for its video streaming service.

According to the Hollywood Reporter Tamara Hunter has been the head of Sony Pictures feature casting division for two years. After 10 years of service at Sarah Finn Co. where she worked on a wide range of the Marvel cinematic universe films. At 20th Century Fox, she served on the staff of Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse, and NASA-centric docudrama Hidden Figures.

Films she supervised casting for Sony include Venom, Hotel Transylvania, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and The Equalizer 2.

Hunter will report to Sony veterans Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht at Apple.

Apple is working on creating its own streaming video service to rival Netflix, Amazon, and others in the field. Current speculation suggests the supposed service could go live in early 2019, with one report claiming owners of Apple devices with the "TV" app preinstalled may be able to view the Apple-produced content for free, but with other subscription "channels" also available for third-party services.

It is believed Apple is spending at least $1 billion on its first wave of programming for the service, which will primarily consist of family-friendly content, and has already lined up a number of shows and movies it may be providing through the service. Notable items include a Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston untitled series based around a morning show, the Chris Evans-fronted "Defending Jacob," and a revival of Terry Gilliam's 1980 fantasy movie "Time Bandits" as a show.

Apple's streaming media service arrives during a period of major consolidations within the media marketplace, including the approval of the AT&T acquisition of Time Warner and Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox, after outbidding Comcast. The streaming marketplace is also set to become tougher for Apple, as Disney has announced it will be launching its own streaming service branded Disney+ in late 2019.