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Tom Hanks film 'Greyhound' to premiere on Apple TV+ in $70M deal [u]

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The WWII battleship film "Greyhound" written and starring Tom Hanks will be released via Apple TV+, premiering via the streaming service instead of having a theatrical release.

Following experimental releases by movie studios of films in digital storefronts that were still showing in theaters, due to closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Tom Hanks movie "Greyhound" will be following a slightly different route. Originally intended for a theatrical release on Father's Day weekend, the Sony Pictures movie will instead be shown through Apple TV .

The movie was previously set to release on May 7 by Sony, but was then moved to June 19, reports Deadline, though the continued lockdowns and social distancing rules will force box office takings to be low. With the continued pandemic, the movie was instead offered up for digital storefronts and streaming services, with Apple clinching the deal.

It is claimed there was a bidding war between Apple and other unnamed streaming platforms, with the auction handled by CAA Media Finance and FilmNation said to have ended in the $70 million range.

"Greyhound" follows Commander Ernest Krause, played by Hanks, commanding a Navy destroyer during the Battle of the Atlantic during World War II. Along the way, Krause has to battle personal demons and self-doubts in order to become an effective leader of the vessel.

The deal is an indication Apple is keen to expand its offerings to consumers, and is willing to spend to do so. A report on Tuesday alleged Apple was in talks with Hollywood studios to acquire licenses for back catalog content, with a view to providing audiences with a considerable amount of content to watch alongside its original shows and films.

Apple has yet to advise when "Greyhound" will be available to watch on Apple TV+, but given its original premiere dates, it is likely to take place in the short term.

Update: Apple paid $70 million for 15 years of exclusive streaming rights to "Greyhound," according to CNBC. The company had to clear the deal with both Sony and Hanks, as this is the prominent actor's first straight-to-streaming release.