Apple has reportedly dropped some serious dollar on the rights to its biggest Apple Original Film yet: an upcoming big-budget Western from Martin Scorsese.
According to the WSJ report, Apple won a bidding war against several other streaming giants – including Netflix – and ultimately will pay around $200 million for the rights to fund the production. The film is called Killers of the Flower Moon and is based on the book of the same name, about a series of oil murders in the 1920s and the birth of the FBI during the subsequent investigation.
As if having Scorsese in the director’s chair wasn’t enough, Killers of the Flower Moon will star Hollywood heavyweights Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio. That’s some serious star power coming Apple’s way.
It’s unclear whether Apple’s involvement will affect the final cut in any way, considering the company’s family-friendly image. Despite early reservations, the TV+ execs have not banned more adult content from its original shows, though it would still be something of a shock to see a classic Scorsese bloodbath under Apple’s service.
After a theatrical release with Paramount, Apple TV+ will retain exclusive streaming rights to the movie. It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first big-name original Apple has acquired recently – it’s also working on Greyhound, a WWII battleship thriller starring Tom Hanks.
Apple was generous with giveaways of free one-year subscriptions in the early days of TV+, but with many of those due to run out later this year it will be interesting to see whether these kind of exclusive blockbusters can keep paying customers around. The company is increasingly reliant on its services revenue and will be anxious to keep up with rivals streaming services from Netflix, Amazon, Disney, HBO, and others.
If you can’t wait until these movies release to get your hands on some great cinema, Apple is currently running a $5 movie sale in iTunes.