Release Date: 3/6/2020 – Theatrical; 3/20/20 – Apple TV Plus
Director: George Nolfi
Studio(s): Romulus Entertainment, Iam21 Entertainment, Apple TV+
Running Time: 120 mins.
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson (Joe Morris), Anthony Mackie (Bernard Garrett), Nicholas Hoult (Matt Steiner), Nia Long (Eunice Garrett), Taylor Black (Susie), Jessie T. Usher (Tony Jackson).
Story: Based on a true story, The Banker centers on revolutionary businessmen Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson), who devise an audacious and risky plan to take on the racially oppressive establishment of the 1960’s by helping other African Americans pursue the American dream. Along with Garrett’s wife Eunice (Nia Long), they train a working class white man, Matt Steiner (Nicholas Hoult), to pose as the rich and privileged face of their burgeoning real estate and banking empire – while Garrett and Morris pose as a janitor and a chauffeur. Their success ultimately draws the attention of the federal government, which threatens everything the two have built. Source: filmstories.co.uk.
Update 11/24/19: On 11/23/19 Fortune reported that weeks into the launch of its nascent streaming service, Apple TV+, the technology giant finds itself navigating potential scandal centering around its first major theatrical release. The Banker was set to arrive in theaters next month ahead of its TV+ release. But sexual abuse allegations leveled against the film’s co-producer, Bernard Garrett Jr. — son of the movie’s main subject — led Apple to delay the release indefinitely, as the filmmakers investigate the claims.
It raises questions about the potential impact on the film and it’s success with Apple. The Banker was scheduled to premiere and close out AFI Fest on Thursday ahead of a theatrical release on December 6, a prime calendar date for awards consideration. Early reports buzzed about the high-profile drama’s potential for Oscars gold. Even a nomination or two just months after Apple’s streaming launch would be a big statement and source of interest for on-the-fence consumers unsure about Apple TV+. Now, with a release date yet to be determined, it’s possible The Banker misses the Dec. 31 deadline to qualify for next year’s Academy Awards.
“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,” Apple said in a statement to Deadline on Wednesday. “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.”
The Banker was Apple’s first big narrative feature starring an A-list cast. Now, it’s not even clear if it will appear on Apple TV+. The company has not yet said anything about the fate of the film on its streaming service. Assuming The Banker eventually does premiere on the service or in theaters, it risks having a cloud hang over it depending on the result of Apple’s investigation. “The outcome has to be positive. If not, [the film’s] just going to be buried,” said Jeff Bock, a senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations. “There’s no way around social media. The onslaught never ends if you’re found out on the negative end of that.” Source: Fortune.com.