Between Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps, Apple’s original content offerings have been…shaky at best. The company is going to have to score some pretty big deals if it has any hopes of catching up to the likes of Netflix and Amazon. A new deal reported by The Wall Street Journal could be the potential kick in the pants its needs, bringing content from Mr. Movie Magic, Steven Spielberg to the platform.
The new deal pulls in the director’s production company Amblin Television, along with NBCUniversal, with plans to resurrect beloved 1980s fantasy/sci-fi/horror anthology Amazing Stories. The original series only ran for two seasons in the mid-80s, but racked up a fair amount of critical acclaim and fond memories, including a dozen Emmy nominations.
The reboot will bring 10 episodes to Apple’s platform, according to The Journal’s sources, with Spielberg serving in as the executive producer. That sort of Hollywood firepower won’t come cheap — the show will reportedly cost around $5 million per episode to produce — though that’s roughly in line with what Netflix is budgeting for many of its own programs.
The revival of the show was, perhaps, spurred on by the success of Netflix’s 80s sci-fi/horror homage, Stranger Things, which has drawn plenty of inspiration from Spielberg’s oeuvre. Whether or not the revival will tap into similar nostalgia or simply update for 2017 remains to be seen. Ditto for whether the Amazing Stories name alone will have much draw with Netflix’s cord cutting audience.
The news comes as Apple is making a bigger push into scripted program — and arrives a day after the company put the kibosh on a planned Elvis biopic, as allegations about Harvey Weinstein continue to pile up.
We’ve reached out to Apple for comment on the report.
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