Apple has made the surprise decision to pull its original film The Banker out of the American Film Institute’s annual festival in Los Angeles. The film was set to premiere at the festival tomorrow, but now a premiere date is unclear.
Update: More details on the situation have emerged in a new report from The Hollywood Reporter, which can be found below.
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As reported by The New York Times, Apple The Banker was set to premiere tomorrow at AFI Fest in Los Angeles, with a theatrical release on December 6th, and eventual availability on Apple TV+. The Banker would have premiered at AFI Fest in the coveted Thursday evening, closing-night slot.
In a statement, Apple said that it was made aware of “some concerns” surrounding the film last week. Along with the filmmakers, Apple then made the decision to delay the debut:
“Last week some concerns surrounding the film were brought to our attention,” Apple said in a statement on Wednesday. “We, along with the filmmakers, need some time to look into these matters and determine the best next steps.”
Apple has “yet to make a decision about the film’s theatrical release,” according to The New York Times. The American Film Institute did not receive word of the change until today, further indicating how last-minute of a decision it was for Apple.
The Banker is one of Apple’s earliest original movies for Apple TV+. There has been quite a bit of anticipation around its release, and the fact that it was accepted for the closing-night time slot at AFI Fest was indication that The Banker could have awards potential.
Update: The Hollywood Reporter now reports that Apple canceled the premiere of The Banker after allegations of sexual abuse against the real-life subject’s son:
Cynthia and Sheila Garrett allege they were assaulted by their half-brother Bernard Garrett Jr., the son of the subject of the drama.
Garrett Jr.’s half-sisters, roughly 15 years his junior, have recently made Apple aware of their claim that when he was a young man living in their home, he sexually molested them over the course of a few years. The sisters made the claim in connection with separate allegations that the timeline of the film was tweaked in order to leave the girls and their mother out of the story and instead feature Bernard Garrett Sr.’s first wife, even though he had already divorced her by the time of some of the events depicted in the film
“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. 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.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a lawyer for producer Romulus Entertainment has said that the film “will be changed to describe it as based on true events.”
A trailer for The Banker can be seen below. It’s unknown when the film will debut to the public at this point. You can read more about Apple TV+ in our full guide right here.
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