Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman have signed a multi-year overall deal with Apple TV+, putting into motion a sequel to the 2020 World War II nautical action film Greyhound, Deadline reports. Written by and starring Hanks in the role of a naval commander who leads a fleet of Allied ships across turbulent waters, Greyhound became one of the streamer’s most-watched titles.
Hanks later debuted the dystopian science-fiction film Finch on Apple TV+ as well. Through the new deal, Playtone will produce several series, unscripted projects and documentaries for the streamer, which finally seems to be growing in popularity after many months spent on the fringes of any discussion about the streaming landscape. Earlier this year, Apple debuted a trio of hit scripted series—The Afterparty, Severance and Pachinko—and topped it off by becoming the first streamer to have distributed a Best Picture Oscar winner, CODA.
Apple also released the Gary Oldman-fronted spy drama Slow Horses, and will soon debut the thriller series Shining Girls, starring Elisabeth Moss. Also on the lineup is the Claire Danes thriller The Essex Serpent.
Prior to striking this new deal, Apple and Hanks had also collaborated on Masters of the Air, a follow-up to Playtone and Amblin Entertainment’s beloved WWII series The Pacific and Band of Brothers. Starring Elvis’ Austin Butler, the series counts Cary Joji Fukunaga as one of the directors, and will tell the story of a group of young pilots who took the war to Adolf Hitler.
Playtone is perhaps best known for having had a hand in multiple Hanks vehicles over the years, such as Cast Away, Larry Crowne, A Hologram for the King, The Circle, and most recently, News of the World. The biggest title on Playtone’s horizon is the lavish Elvis Presley biopic, Elvis, starring Butler and Hanks and directed by Baz Luhrmann.
Although it might seem like Hanks, like so many of his peers, is looking to make a transition to streaming — his last four films have all received either partial or full online releases, and his upcoming Pinocchio movie is also expected to debut directly on Disney+ — he made sure to strike a deal that guaranteed a theatrical window for his upcoming starring vehicle, A Man Called Otto. Directed by Marc Forster, written by David Magee and adapted from the bestselling Swedish novel A Man Called Ove, the film will be released on Christmas Day by Sony, after the studio reportedly won a heated bidding war that also involved streaming giants.
Masters of the Air is expected to land this year, although the Greyhound sequel doesn’t have a release date yet. Stay tuned to Collider for more updates.