Apple have made a deal with A24 regarding distribution for The Tragedy Of Macbeth, the upcoming film set to star Frances McDormand and Denzel Washington that will also mark Joel Coen‘s first film without his brother, Ethan.
The plan is to have a worldwide theatrical release worldwide late this year by A24, before launching the film globally on Apple TV+ at a later date, but still in time for awards season. The film is, obviously, based on William Shakespeare‘s classic tragedy of the same name. Washington will play the title character, with McDormand playing Lady Macbeth.
This agreement gives Apple another prestige film for next awards season. They already have Sian Heder‘s CODA, a film that won four awards at its Sundance premiere, and the company just won an auction for the Tom Hanks-led Finch, a sci-fi that was previously titled Bios.
Production also just began on Martin Scorsese‘s Killers Of The Flower Moon, and will soon begin on Antoine Fuqua‘s Emancipation starring Will Smith. Apple are definitely aiming to be a prestige streamer, having attracted big stars and expensive original projects over the past year.
The streamer already has a deal in place to distribute a number of A24 films. Last year they released Sofia Coppola‘s On The Rocks and acclaimed documentary Boys State, and they have Josephine Decker‘s The Sky Is Everywhere, which is expected to arrive later this year.
This deal sounds similar to the one made by Paramount, which squished the window between theatrical and on-demand release for their films beginning this year. The previously traditional three-month window for films is now a mere 17 days before a Paramount film arrives on Paramount+.
Apple are probably looking at something similar. They get the theatrical release, which keeps the filmmakers happy and also opens the film up for potential awards, but then they quickly get a potential subscriber boost by dropping the film on Apple TV+ not long after.
This is probably the beginning of a industry-wide shift, with most films – perhaps outside of the biggest blockbusters – quickly making their way to streaming after their theatrical run.
Apple are certainly gearing up for strong awards season runs in the foreseeable future. Right now, they’re the place to go if you’re looking for big original films.