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Apple & Skydance Animation Part Ways With Latter Taking ‘Spellbound’

Companies Remain Robust Partners In Live Action Film, TV

While it will continue to have a deal with Skydance Media for tent pole live action film and TV fare, Apple is parting ways with Skydance Animation, the company run by former Pixar chief John Lassiter. Their multi-year deal has come to a conclusion, and Apple is making other kinds of films, notably this weekend’s opener Killers of the Flower Moon, which opens globally Friday.

Skydance Animation will land in a new deal quickly, and Apple will give back to the company the project Spellbound, which had been set at Apple TV+ but will not move forward.

Skydance and Apple will remain partnered on a number of upcoming feature film and TV series, but mutually agreed the animated feature was not the best fit for Apple Original Films’ expanding narrative film slate. Apple is still in the animation game, coming off an Oscar win for Best Animated short The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. Among its animation projects are Jane from Dr. Jane Goodall, El Deafo, and an adaptation of the Oliver Jeffers book Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth, and the series of specials from Peanuts and WildBrain, based on the Charles Schultz cartoon universe.

Apple TV+ has much business ongoing with Skydance Media, as well as across acclaimed, hit series hailing from Skydance such as Foundation, The Big Door Prize and an upcoming comedy that reunites stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, created by David West Read.

Upcoming Apple Original Films produced by Skydance Media include The Family Plan, an action-comedy feature starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Simon Cellan Jones; the genre-bending action film The Gorge starring Miles Teller and Anya Taylor-Joy; and Mayday, a new feature film that is written and set to be directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, with Ryan Reynolds and Kenneth Branagh set to star. Apple Original Films and Skydance also recently released the romantic action adventure film Ghosted starring Chris Evans and Ana de Armas, and directed by Dexter Fletcher.

Aside from Killers of the Flower Moon, the Martin Scorsese-directed drama that stars Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone, Apple is readying for release Napoleon, the Ridley Scott-directed epic starring Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby; and the Matthew Vaughn-directed spy thriller Argylle with Henry Cavill, Sam Rockwell, Bryce Dallas Howard, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O’Hara, John Cena, Dua Lipa, Ariana DeBose and Samuel L. Jackson. Others include Blitz, by Oscar winning director Steve McQueen, and a Formula 1 feature film starring Brad Pitt from director Joseph Kosinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

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