Apple has made the surprise decision to pull its original film The Banker out of the American Film Institute’s annual festival in Los Angeles. The film was set to premiere at the festival tomorrow, but now a premiere date is unclear.
As reported by The New York Times, Apple The Banker was set to premiere tomorrow at AFI Fest in Los Angeles, with a theatrical release on December 6th, and eventual availability on Apple TV+. The Banker would have premiered at AFI Fest in the coveted Thursday evening, closing-night slot.
In a statement, Apple said that it was made aware of “some concerns” surrounding the film last week. Along with the filmmakers, Apple then made the decision to delay the debut:
“Last week some concerns surrounding the film were brought to our attention,” Apple said in a statement on Wednesday. “We, along with the filmmakers, need some time to look into these matters and determine the best next steps.”
Apple has “yet to make a decision about the film’s theatrical release,” according to The New York Times. The American Film Institute did not receive word of the change until today, further indicating how last-minute of a decision it was for Apple.
The Banker is one of Apple’s earliest original movies for Apple TV+. There has been quite a bit of anticipation around its release, and the fact that it was accepted for the closing-night time slot at AFI Fest was indication that The Banker could have awards potential.
Here is the summary Apple had provided for the film, which stars Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson:
Inspired by a true story, “The Banker” centers on revolutionary businessmen Bernard Garrett and Joe Morris, who devise an audacious and risky plan to take on the racially oppressive establishment of the 1960s by helping other African Americans pursue the American dream.
Along with Garrett’s wife Eunice they train a working class white man, Matt Steiner, to pose as the rich and privileged face of their burgeoning real estate and banking empire – while Garrett and Morris pose as a janitor and a chauffeur. Their success ultimately draws the attention of the federal government, which threatens everything the four have built.
A trailer for The Banker can be seen below. It’s unknown when the film will debut to the public at this point. You can read more about Apple TV+ in our full guide right here.