Celebrity Entertaiment

Apple pulls ‘The Banker’ last-minute from AFI Fest over ‘concerns’

Apple is learning that making original content is not as easy as it streams.

After shaky reviews for its initial TV offerings, Apple TV+ service’s first major film, “The Banker,” has been abruptly pulled as the closing-night screening of AFI Fest over “concerns,” Deadline reports.

The movie would’ve had its world premiere Thursday in Los Angeles. It’s already been replaced by Netflix’s “Marriage Story,” starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson.

Due to hit theaters Dec. 6, followed by a release on the Apple TV+ streaming platform next year, “The Banker” tells the real story of two 1960s black entrepreneurs, Bernard Garrett and Joe Morris, who hired a white man to be the face of their business. The partners are played, respectively, by Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson.

Sources told Deadline that Apple is taking “a pause” while it investigates new allegations against a member of the Garrett family who is not depicted in the film. But other reports conflict with that account, saying information was uncovered about one of the movie’s characters.

Apple said in a statement: “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. In light of this, we are no longer premiering ‘The Banker’ at AFI Fest.”

It’s unclear how the AFI Fest cancellation will affect the theatrical and streaming release timeline of “The Banker.”

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