Apple and Skydance Media have signed a multi-year agreement to develop and produce an annual slate of live-action, global-minded movies. The projects are set to be released through Apple Original Films, Deadline is reporting.
The deal expands the fast-growing relationship between Skydance’s founder and CEO, David Ellison and the streamer. The two companies already have a a multi-year partnership for animated movies and series that includes the Peggy Holmes-directed fantasy comedy, Luck, and the Vicky Jenson-helmed adventure comedy, Spellbound. The deal also includes the animated show The Search.
AppleTV+ has also renewed the Skydance-produced sci-fi drama series, Foundation, for a second season. The show, which is an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s novel of the same name, was created, and is written and produced by, Batman Begins scribe David S. Goyer.
Another series the companies are collaborating on together is the comedy The Big Door Prize. The show is being executive produced by Emmy Award-winning Schitt’s Creek scribe-producer, David West Read.
Skydance’s new live-action film deal with Apple is continuing the trend towards streamers controlling big-budget releases. Despite being a regular producer for theatrically released blockbuster movies, the production company has become more willing to produce exclusive content for streaming platforms recently.
The ongoing effects of the COVID-19 have led production companies to form closer relationships with streamers, as many viewers are still hesitant to return to theaters, two years into the pandemic. Acquiring Skydance further rounds out the high-profile, global-minded catalog Apple is building for itself.
Among the live-action films Skydance and Apple are working on together is the war drama, The Greatest Beer Run Ever, which is helmer Peter Farrelly’s follow-up to his Best Picture Oscar-winning biographical comedy-drama, Green Book. The upcoming movie is set to star Zac Efron and Russell Crowe.
The two companies are also collaborating together on the film Ghosted, which is set to be directed by Rocketman helmer, Dexter Fletcher. The movie, which is set to begin filming shortly, will star Chris Evans and Ana de Armas.
Ellison founded Skydance in 2010 through a deal at Paramount Pictures. The production company will continue its collaboration with the studio on such franchises as Mission: Impossible, Transformers, Star Trek and Top Gun. The Top Gun sequel, which is subtitled Maverick, will be released in theaters on May 27. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is in production, and the next two Mission: Impossible installments are in post-production.
Despite its new deal with Apple, Skydance also has other projects in the works with competing streamers. Amongst those films is the follow-up to the Chris Pratt-led military sci-fi action drama, The Tomorrow War, at Amazon.