Apple is pushing the release of George Nolfi’s The Banker to a TBD date. The pic was to go limited on December 6, with a streaming platform release on Apple TV+ in January. From what we know now, the streaming release hasn’t been changed yet.
The movie, set during the Civil Rights era, is a very inspiring story, and Apple wants to do right by it. The pic is based on the true story of two African-American entrepreneurs (Samuel L. Jackson as Joe Morris and Anthony Mackie as Bernard Garrett) who, during the 1950s, hired a working-class white man (Nicholas Hoult) to pretend to be the head of their business empire while they posed as a janitor and chauffeur.
The news of the theatrical release change follows after the cancellation of The Banker as AFI Fest’s closing-night pic. Deadline learned that a family member leveled some troubling allegations about Bernard Garrett Sr.’s son, Bernard Garrett Jr. who originally was a co-producer on the film and whose name has been removed from all promo materials. Garrett Jr. is only seen in the movie as a young child for a brief period, is not a pivotal character in the movie, and the movie isn’t even about him. We understand that Garrett Sr. sold the pic rights to Romulus Entertainment, and that deal reverted to Garrett Jr. after his father’s death, making him a co-producer in name only.
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Apple released the following statement two days ago after the pic was pulled from AFI Fest:
“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,” the statement reads.