Apple and Skydance Media are now set to work on a slew of new live-action films thanks to a new deal between the producer and Apple Original Films. It’s a rather unsurprising move given the two inked a similar deal for animated projects nearly a year ago which brought them Luck and Spellbound along with the animated series The Search for Wandla. With the acquisition, Apple is seizing the means of production away from Paramount and continuing the trend towards streamers controlling big-budget releases.
It marks the end of the long-running first look deal David Ellison‘s production company had with Paramount Pictures, a partnership that centered around Hollywood tentpoles such as Mission: Impossible, Transformers, Top Gun, and Star Trek. The deal with Apple is non-exclusive though, meaning those franchises and their currently in-production works like Top Gun: Maverick and the next two Mission: Impossible entries will continue on with Paramount in the meantime. Skydance also has other projects in the works with competing streamers like the follow-up to the Chris Pratt-headed The Tomorrow War over at Amazon that will move forward as planned.
Despite being a regular producer for theater-packing blockbuster popcorn films, Skydance has been far more open to producing content directly for streaming platforms as of late. They’ve worked directly with Apple on a few projects recently, including Apple TV+ shows Foundation and The Big Door Prize as well as the upcoming films The Greatest Beer Run Ever featuring Zac Efron and Russel Crowe and Ghosted starring Chris Evans and Ana de Armas. The ongoing effects of the pandemic have made a closer relationship with streamers more beneficial, hence the steady move towards a team up with the tech giant and their massive streaming presence.
For Apple, it only expands on its wealth of content that has taken huge strides in recent years. Recently, they paid a pretty penny for Killers of the Flower Moon from legendary director Martin Scorsese to debut on the platform along with several Apple Original Films like CODA and The Tragedy of Macbeth that are vying for hardware in this year’s awards race. Acquiring Skydance further rounds out the high-profile catalog Apple is building by adding a blockbuster machine that’ll generate global-minded content for the streamer.
It seems more and more like theaters and legacy production companies like Paramount are going to be left in the dust as streaming platforms continue to make deals and churn out high-quality, high-profile products. Details from the Apple-Skydance deal are not fully public as of now. Skydance currently has a few other projects in the works including The Adam Project starring Ryan Reynolds and Heart of Stone starring Gal Gadot.