WSJ: Apple signs a deal with Steven Spielberg for “Amazing Stories” reboot

Apple has reportedly inked a deal with director Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television and Comcast’s NBC Universal to create new episodes of “Amazing Stories,” Spielberg’s 1980s fantasy, horror and sci-fi television anthology series.

According to The Wall Street Journal today, Spielberg will likely be an executive producer for a total of ten new episodes planned for the series reboot.

NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke said:

We love being at the forefront of Apple’s investment in scripted programming and can’t think of a better property than Spielberg’s beloved “Amazing Stories” franchise.

The budget for the show will be more than $5 million per episode.

Anthology series are a great fit for streaming services so this is a wise move. “Amazing Stories” is one of my favorite shows as a kid, but it remains to be seen if an updated version can attract younger generations who don’t even know what “Amazing Stories” is all about.

Be that as it may, this should be Apple’s first major foray into creating original video content under the guidance of veteran TV producers Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht whom it hired in June. The Cupertino giant reportedly gave the duo a budget of roughly $1 billion to develop original programming over the next year.

What this won’t be is another “Planet of the Apps” or “Carpool Karaoke: The Series.”

During its two-year tenure on NBC from 1985 to 1987, “Amazing Stories” won five Emmy Awards, was nominated for 12 Emmy Awards and amassed quite a following.

Based on the comic book, each episode of the show was its own story. Aside from Spielberg himself, some of the episodes were directed by the likes of Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Irving Kirshner, Burt Reynolds, Joe Dante, Peter Hyams, Danny DeVito, Paul Bartel and others.

On a related note, Apple has nixed an Elvis Presley biopic show it apparently planned to develop with Weinstein Co. The show was reportedly canceled amid numerous allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein.

The scandal has activated a “key man” clause in Apple’s deal that allowed the company to pull the plug on the show, a person with knowledge of the matter said.