Apple is having a very good month—and we’re not even talking about the release of the Apple iPhone 13. Less than two weeks after winning seven Emmy Awards for Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso, Apple Studios emerged the victor in an all-out bidding war for Jon Watts’ highly coveted, though still-yet-unnamed, new thriller that’s set to star George Clooney and Brad Pitt.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Apple Studios went head-to-head with some of Hollywood’s biggest players, including Sony, Netflix, and Lionsgate, to secure the rights to the film, which will see Clooney and Pitt playing two set-in-their-own-ways fixers who are assigned to the same job. The film will mark the first time the pair have appeared onscreen together since the Coen brothers’ 2008 film, Burn After Reading.
Watts first made a name for himself as the co-writer and director of Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017); he has since gone on to direct Spider-Man: Far From Home (2018) and Spider-Man: No Way Home, which is set for release on December 17, 2021. Watts will write, produce, and direct the film, with a producing assist from Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures and Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment. While the film will surely become a big event for Apple TV+, Deadline reports that the deal also includes a “robust theatrical release.”
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, the Clooney-Pitt-Watts trifecta is just the latest in a series of major names who’ve opted to sign on with the still-new Apple Studios. In recent months, the tech behemoth’s distribution arm has used its deep pockets to lure the likes of Martin Scorsese for his Killers of the Flower Moon, starring Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio; Antoine Fuqua’s Emancipation, with Will Smith; and Spirited, a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, featuring Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds, and Octavia Spencer.
“Haven’t heard the price tag, but I’m sure it falls in line with a lot of the recent deals for star packages,” Mike Fleming Jr. wrote for Deadline. “I have heard that between Clooney and Pitt, they left an eight-figure sum on the table to ensure the theatrical release component.” No release date has been scheduled.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)