Apple goes to Hollywood: Iconic studios for film and TV projects beckon

1 Sep 2017

Lights, camera, Apple! Image: Serge Ka/Shutterstock

Apple is said to be in talks with The Culver Studios, amping up its efforts to shine in film and television.

As the media in general pivots to video and original content still reigns highly on the buzz phrase list, it looks like Apple may be making serious moves towards becoming a major TV and film force.

The Financial Times reported that the company is negotiating with The Culver Studios, with the intention to snap up some office space on the iconic lot. The studios have been previously owned by Hollywood icon Howard Hughes, with the 1939 classic Gone with the Wind among countless classics filmed there.

Massive investment on the cards

Earlier in August, The Wall Street Journal had reported that Apple was willing to invest $1bn into the procurement and production of original content, a serious chunk of change mirroring the seriousness of its intentions to make an impact on the film industry.

The Financial Times also reported that Apple is in an intense bidding war for a drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, set on a morning chat show.

It has already somewhat waded in to the world of original content, with TV shows Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps making their debuts on Apple Music. Both shows were poorly received, with chilly reviews being the order of the day.

Stiff competition from established streaming services

It won’t be an easy ride for Tim Cook and his cohort, as large streaming services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix are firmly established as original content creators, with hits such as Transparent and Stranger Things to show for it.

On the other hand, Apple does have major industrial and cultural clout, and that could go a long way to help the company as it makes its way in Hollywood. The pockets of Apple are also cavernous, so spending a little extra to fight off rivals doesn’t seem like something it would be averse to doing down the line.

Apple is said to be revealing a new version of its TV box at a press event on 12 September, along with the latest iteration of the iPhone.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects