greyhound premiere

Tom Hanks‘ World War II drama Greyhound is heading straight to streaming on Apple TV+. The much-delayed Sony drama — originally set to open in theaters in March 2019, before getting pushed to January 2019, then to May 8, 2020 and finally to June 12, 2020 — will now forego theaters entirely and steer right to streaming waters, making its premiere on Apple TV+ as the platform’s biggest feature film debut yet.

On the heels of reports that Apple TV+ was starting to build out its feature film and TV library to better compete with Netflix and other streamers, the platform has landed the premiere of Tom Hanks’ World War II battleship drama Greyhound, according to Deadline.

Recently set for Father’s Day weekend by Sony, Greyhound is changing course and foregoing theaters altogether — an increasingly common move amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The film was set to be a major theatrical release for Sony, but with the pandemic set to keep theaters closed for the summer months, the studio quietly shopped Greyhound out to streamers, where it became the center of a big bidding battle. Deadline reports that Apple TV+ closed the deal for roughly $70 million.

This is Apple TV+’s biggest feature film commitment yet. While Apple TV+ is set to debut a few Sundance Film Festival darlings like Hala and The Elephant Queen, some documentaries from Bryce Dallas Howard and others, and the buzzy Sofia Coppola film On the Rocks, this is the streamer’s first acquisition of a former theatrical release. With this move, it appears Apple TV+ is positioning itself to be a rival to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Disney+ as a premiere place for feature film premieres. If Greyhound performs well, perhaps we’ll see other feature films get placed on the streamer soon. Apple TV+ has not set a release date for Greyhound, but it will likely come soon.

Greyhound stars and is written by Hanks, who adapts the novel The Good Shepherd by C. S. Forester, which was published back in the 1950s. This marks Hanks’ first screenplay credit since his mostly forgotten 2011 directorial effort Larry CrowneAaron Schneider helms this project, which also stars Stephan Graham, Rob Morgan, and Elizabeth Shue.

Here’s the synopsis for Greyhound:

The only thing more dangerous than the front lines was the fight to get there. In the early days of WWII, an international convoy of 37 Allied ships, led by captain Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks) in his first command of a U.S. destroyer, crosses the treacherous North Atlantic while hotly pursued by wolf packs of Nazi U-boats.

No release date has yet been set for Greyhound‘s Apple TV+ premiere.

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