By Mike Fleming Jr.
January 21, 2022
After setting its recent films Without Remorse, The Tomorrow War and The Old Guard at streamers, David Ellison’s Skydance Media has made a multi-year agreement with Apple to develop and produce an annual slate of global-minded live-action movies that will be released through Apple Original Films.
This further expands a fast-growing relationship between the producer-financier and the streamer. Apple already has a multi-year partnership for animated films and series that includes the Peggy Holmes-directed Luck and the Vicky Jenson-directed Spellbound with score from Alan Menken, the animated series The Search for Wondla and the short film Blush. AppleTV+ has the Skydance-produced David S. Goyer drama Foundation — the Isaac Asimov novel adaptation has been renewed for a second season — and The Big Door Prize from Schitt’s Creek Emmy winner David West Read.
On the film front, Skydance and Apple have The Greatest Beer Run Ever, starring Zac Efron and Russell Crowe, director Peter Farrelly’s follow-up to Best Picture Oscar-winning Green Book. The Dexter Fletcher-directed Ghosted gets underway shortly with Chris Evans and Ana de Armas. Skydance’s Chief Creative Dana Goldberg and President, Production, Feature Film Don Granger lead the film division for Ellison.
Formed with a deal at Paramount back in 2010, Skydance continues its collaboration with that studio with the franchises Mission: Impossible, Transformers, Star Trekand Top Gun: Maverick, the latter of which will be released theatrically May 27. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is in production, and the next two Mission: Impossible installments are in post.
Skydance has branched into TV, interactive, animation, new media and sports, and its investment partners include Tencent Holdings, RedBird Capital, CJ ENM, and the Ellison Family.