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Apple cancels 'The Banker' premiere at AFI Fest, streaming plans unknown

Apple on Wednesday cancelled the planned premiere of Apple TV+ movie "The Banker" after "concerns" arose last week involving the son of the film's main subject.

The Banker

Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson in "The Banker."


Initially scheduled to screen as a closing night film at AFI Fest on Thursday, Apple pulled "The Banker" at the last minute, leaving event planners scrambling, reports Deadline. The festival has since elected to show Netflix's "Marriage Story" in its place.

"We purchased The Banker earlier this year as we were moved by the film's entertaining and educational story about social change and financial literacy," Apple said in a statement. "Last week some concerns surrounding the film were brought to our attention. We, along with the filmmakers, need some time to look into these matters and determine the best next steps. In light of this, we are no longer premiering The Banker at AFI Fest."

"The Banker" is based on a true story about two African American businessmen who in the 1960s trained a working class white man to be the figurehead of a successful real estate and banking empire. Anthony Mackie stars as the late Bernard Garrett Sr., while Samuel L. Jackson plays Joe Morris.

Deadline reports a family member of the Garretts leveled "troubling allegations" about Bernard Garrett Jr., who is not depicted in the movie, and shared those claims with a trade paper that plans to run a story on the subject. Garrett Jr. was a consultant on the film and has participated in promotional activity, the report says.

Apple was slated to release "The Banker" in theaters on Dec. 6, to be followed by a streaming debut on Apple TV+ sometime in 2020.