'Greyhound' Shift From Theaters To AppleTV+ Is "An Absolute Heartbreak" To Writer And Star Tom Hanks

Greyhound, the new World War II movie starring Tom Hanks, was originally slated to hit theaters in March of last year. But it got pushed to January 2020, then moved back to May, and then bumped to June. Ultimately, the movie never hit theaters at all, because Apple swooped in, purchased the distribution rights, and decided to debut it directly on the AppleTV+ streaming service. The movie will be available for subscribers to stream in just a few days, but it sounds like Hanks – who also produced Greyhound and wrote the screenplay – has some conflicted feelings about that.

The fact that Greyhound will be streaming and not playing in theaters is "an absolute heartbreak," according to Hanks. Speaking with The Guardian, he explains that he isn't dissing Apple, but points out why he feels the way he does. "I don't mean to make angry my Apple overlords, but there is a difference in picture and sound quality." I'm not sure that any multi-Oscar nominated, full-fledged movie star of Hanks's stature would be thrilled to have a movie premiere on a streaming service that hasn't exactly dominated the public conversation since it debuted last year. But Hanks isn't out to slam AppleTV+ – it sounds like he'd be equally disappointed if Greyhound were to premiere on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

Elsewhere in that same interview, Hanks shed some light on a strange policy Apple implemented for video interviews in the coronavirus era. Apparently, the company demanded that Hanks participate in interviews with nothing but a blank white wall behind him, presumably to keep the focus on the movie instead of having people analyze his bookshelves or decor or whatever might be in the background. Hanks jokingly said that "the cruel whipmasters at Apple" were responsible for the blankness, and he says the result makes it seem like he's in a "witness protection programme. But here I am, bowing to the needs of Apple TV."

Here's the film's official synopsis:

In a thrilling story inspired by actual events from the Battle of the Atlantic, Tom Hanks stars as a first-time captain who leads a convoy of allied ships carrying thousands of soldiers across the treacherous waters of the "Black Pit" to the front lines of WW2. With no air cover protection for 5 days, the captain and his convoy must battle the surrounding enemy Nazi U-boats in order to give the allies a chance to win the war.

Greyhound, which is directed by Aaron Schneider (Get Low) and co-stars Elisabeth Shue, Stephen Graham, and more, arrives on AppleTV+ on July 10, 2020. We just published our review of the film this morning, and you can read the entire piece here.