Just mere days after Apple purchased the Jake Gyllenhaal thriller Snow Blind, the company has now purchased another film for their nascent streaming service. They’ve acquired Palmer, a drama starring Justin Timberlake.
This continues Apple’s strategy of paying top dollar for huge stars. The streamer has already acquired Martin Scorsese‘s Killers Of The Flower Moon (set to star Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro), the Will Smith thriller Emancipation.
It has also acquired Sofia Coppola‘s On The Rocks starring Rashida Jones and Bill Murray, and just released the Tom Hanks WWII movie, Greyhound.
These acquisitions have cost Apple over $400 million, though that’s the going price to get into the streaming game. Netflix shelled out similar money for big stars when they initially started developing their own projects. If these stars get Apple more subscribers and a foothold in the streaming wars, for them it will all be worth it.
Palmer follows Eddie Palmer, a former college football phenomenon who gets out of prison and returns to his hometown to get his life back on track. But he faces lingering conflicts from his past while there, and also suddenly finds himself in charge of a young boy abandoned by his mother.
Cheryl Guerriero penned the film, and her script originally appeared on the 2016 Black List of best unproduced Hollywood screenplays. Juno Temple, Alisha Wainwright and June Squibb co-star in the film, while Fisher Stevens directs.
The Palmer synopsis sounds kind of rote, but hopefully the script’s Black List bonafides are due to it taking a typical plot interesting places. And Apple will be hoping that Timberlake’s multi-pronged star power can draw in a heap of subscribers.
These big acquisitions will probably be the make or break of Apple TV+. If they hit, we’ll probably be talking about the streaming platform in the same breath as Netflix in a few years. If they fail, Apple TV+ will likely go the way of Google Plus or – it’s early days, but all signs point to it – Quibi, and be remembered as a failed experiment.