Months before Apple launches its video streaming service, the company has beefed up its lineup with the acquisition of a documentary and an animated series.
The tech company recently bought the rights to the nature documentary The Elephant Queen and the animated film Wolfwalkers. However, it remains unsure if the two films will be finished in time for the launch of Apple's video streaming service in March 2019.
Apple Buys 2 New Films
The Elephant Queen, directed by renowned filmmakers Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble, tackles the story of a matriarchal elephant named Athena as she leads her herd to a new watering hole amid a drought. The movie is narrated by Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor, star of 12 Years A Slave. The premiere of the movie was recently held at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Directed by Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart, the animated film Wolfwalkers is about a young woman and her father as they hunt down the last pack of wolves in Ireland. However, the young woman saw the wolves in a different light after saving a native girl.
With its latest acquisitions, Apple is expected to provide subscribers with other alternatives by diversifying its selection. The move also shows that Apple is ready to go head-on against other streaming sites such as Amazon and Netflix.
Apple Invested $1 Billion For Streaming Service
In the past months, Apple has poured in around $1 billion to purchase and develop original content for its upcoming streaming service. Recently, Apple purchased the rights to revive the Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories anthology. Apple also bought the rights for a space show from Ron Moore of the Battlestar Galactica fame and an adaptation of the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov.
It was reported that Amblin Entertainment, a production company owned by Spielberg, will start producing 10 new episodes, with a budget of $5 million per episode. It is unclear if Spielberg will work as director, but he will likely serve as the executive producer of the episodes.
Amazing Stories, which was shown from 1985 to 1987, was Spielberg's effort to create a modern version of the Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits. The episodes of Amazing Stories tackle different stories, from scary to magical, with the likes of Robert Zemeckis, Tobe Hooper, Brad Bird, and Spielberg himself as directors. The show won five Emmy awards before it was canceled by NBC after its second season.
Few months back, Apple hired former Sony Pictures Television heads Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to spearhead the development of its streaming service. Erlicht and Van Amburg were behind Sony's popular shows such as Breaking Bad.