Amazing Stories Showrunner Interview

Apple has resurrected Steven Spielberg’s anthology series Amazing Stories as part of its Apple TV+ streaming service, the first of their shows to be a revival of a pre-existing show. The original series ran from 1985 through 1987 on NBC. Apple’s first season consists of five hour-long stories. 

The first episode of the new series stars Dylan O’Brien as a modern man who travels back in time through the basement of a house he’s restoring. Episode two tells the afterlife tale of a runner (Hailey Kilgore) who gets hit by a car, but stays around to help her friend (E’myri Crutchfield). The newest episode stars Robert Forster as a grandfather who gains super powers from an old toy ring.

Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz serve as showrunners on the new Amazing Stories. Their previous credits include creating and running Once Upon a Time and writing and producing for Lost. Kitsis and Horowitz spoke with /Film by phone this week about Amazing Stories and a little bit about their Beauty and the Beast prequel series for Disney+. New episodes of Amazing Stories premiere Fridays on Apple TV+.

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The Banker Review

The new based-on-a-true-story drama The Banker inspires a reference to the charming political-fantasy sitcom Parks and Recreation, and its line about something having “the cadence of a joke”. The Banker has the cadence of a movie. It’s 120 minutes long — ah yes, a standard feature-length runtime. Its stars are now best known for their work in franchise fare — OK, they’re taking a break from action movies! And there’s a social conflict at its core, showcasing the destructive capabilities of systemic American racism. Yet there’s something weirdly hollow and dry about this drama. Even if this film had been released as originally scheduled in the 2019 awards season, The Banker would still feel barely like a movie at all.

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SXSW Cancellations

Concerns about the spread of the new coronavirus strain known as COVID-19 have been sweeping the globe. The United States doesn’t have nearly as many cases as Europe and Asia, but the numbers are starting to grow, and concerns about a pandemic have prompted cautious behavior from some of the world’s biggest companies, especially when it comes to attending events with large crowds. That’s why Netflix, Apple, Amazon and Warner Media have all pulled out of the South by Southwest (SXSW) film, TV, music and tech festival, slated to start on March 13. That means all of the premieres and screenings of the movies, TV shows, and panels they were bringing to the fest have been canceled as well.

UPDATE: Starz and Lionsgate are skipping the festival too. Get the new details below with the rest of our original report. Read More »

swan song

Before he sinks his teeth into the role of Blade the vampire hunter for Marvel Studios, two time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali will star in Swan Song for AppleTV+. The “genre-bending drama” is an original feature film that will join the fledgling streaming service’s slate of movies and also receive a theatrical release. Read More »

apple tv+ free

Even a free one-year subscription to a streaming service can’t entice customers to subscribe to Apple TV+. Apple’s streaming platform was offered for free for one year to all Apple device owners upon its launch in November 2019, a deal that fewer than 10% of Apple customers have taken up. Looks like customers aren’t biting on Apple TV+.

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One of the most high-profile filmmakers associated with the streaming service Apple TV+ since its launch last November has been M. Night Shyamalan. Promotional images for Servant, which released its tense season finale on Friday, prominently featured the words, “From M. Night Shyamalan” over the title. Shyamalan directed the show’s pilot and serves as one of its executive producers, much like he did with Fox’s Wayward Pines.

The plot of Servant revolves around a suspicious nanny who enters the life of a Philadelphia couple. Here, as with Wayward Pines, Shyamalan has taken a step back from writing duties. Showrunner Tony Basgallop wrote all ten episodes of Servant’s first season. Yet there are aspects of the show that feel very much of a piece with Shyamalan’s overall body of work as a writer-director. It’s another atmospheric dip into psychological horror where the choice of setting, the familiar preoccupation with belief and delusion, a newer tendency toward exploitation tactics, and less salubrious aspects like accusations of plagiarism (Servant is now the subject of a lawsuit) all draw a line to previous moments in his career.

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AppleTV+ Launch Date

Apple TV+ presented panels to the Television Critics Association for the first time since its launch on November 1. Two of the shows appearing on the panel shows have already been renewed for a second season before they premiere (just like some of the shows that have already debuted on the streamer), and Apple announced premiere dates for them and a couple other upcoming original series.

Chris Evans, Josh Gad, Kristen Bell, Daveed Diggs, Rob McElhenney, and more star in the upcoming Apple TV+ shows Defending Jacob, Central Park, Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banqet, and Home Before Dark. And you can find out all about them below. Read More »

Amazing Stories Premiere Date

UPDATE: The original version of this story inaccurately mentioned a second season renewal for Amazing Stories, but this was a misconception by our reporter at the TCAs. Our corrected story follows below.

Apple TV+ presented panels on the last day of the Television Critics Association winter press tour. The streamer finally announced premiere date for the long-awaited reboot of Steven Spielberg’s anthology series Amazing Stories. The revival of the series has been one of the cornerstones of Apple’s originals slate, but this is the first word we’ve gotten on when the show will arrive, and it also came with an Amazing Stories first look photo. Read More »

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Apple TV+ Deal

Apple is continuing to build their roster of talent with exclusive deals, and this time they’ve added a big comedic talent.

Seinfeld star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, fresh off her Emmy-winning run as the lead of the HBO comedy series Veep, has signed a multi-year overall deal with Apple to develop, executive produce and star in projects exclusively for Apple TV+. It’s the first time she’s ever signed a deal like this with a streaming service. Read More »

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Beastie Boys Documentary

You won’t have to fight for your right to see a documentary about the hip-hop group Beastie Boys from Oscar-winning Her and Being John Malkovich director Spike Jonze, but you will have to pay for a movie ticket or Apple TV+ subscription.

A new documentary called Beastie Boys Story has been picked up by Apple for release in select IMAX theaters this spring, and afterwards it will be exclusively available to stream on Apple TV+. Read More »