Apple has pulled its first theatrical release, “The Banker,” from its closing night world premiere slot at AFI Fest in Los Angeles tomorrow night and its limited theatrical run on December 6th may now be in question. Netflix’s “Marriage Story” will screen at the festival instead.
The George Nolfi-directed film was acquired by Apple in July and stars Anthony Mackie as Bernard Garrett Sr and Samuel L. Jackson as Joe Morris, two African-American men who hired a white man (Nicholas Hoult) to be the public face of their growing business empire in 1963. In a statement, Apple says:
“We purchased The Banker earlier this year as we were moved by the film’s entertaining and educational story about social change and financial literacy. Last week some concerns surrounding the film were brought to our attention. We, along with the filmmakers, need some time to look into these matters and determine the best next steps. In light of this, we are no longer premiering The Banker at AFI Fest.”
Said concerns reportedly surround an individual related to Garrett Sr. who has brought forth some troubling allegations against him with more details on those expected to be reported on shortly.
Apple had a tepid launch of its Apple TV+ service earlier this month with several high profile shows dropping to soft reviews and quiet numbers. One of those shows executive producers, Mimi Leder who is a showrunner on the Aniston & Witherspoon-led “The Morning Show,” tells The Verge the reviews seemed to be more about Apple and its business strategy as opposed to the content of the show itself and so the reviews were simply from “a lot of Apple haters who just wanted Apple to fail”.