Tom Hanks should be thankful “Greyhound” won’t be collecting dust on the shelves at Sony

You’ve probably read reports citing actor Tom Hanks as saying that it’s “an absolute heartbreak” that his upcoming World War II movie “Greyhound” is debuting on Apple’s streaming platform as an Apple TV+ exclusive rather that become a major theatrical blockbuster for the summer. What’s actually heartbreaking is the ungrateful actor himself because if it weren’t for Apple his movie would’ve been collecting dust on the shelves at Sony.

UPDATE (Jul 7, 2020): Changing his tune, Hanks has now sent an update to the press via his PR agency. He is now calling Apple TV+ “a magnificent gift”.

Hanks changes his tune

Here’s the full statement from Hanks:

I’m actually thrilled that Apple TV+ is making it possible for everybody to see it… This is a magnificent gift that’s come to us because of Apple because COVID-19 did something heartbreaking to us all: it closed down the theaters. We don’t have the cinema.

There isn’t anybody that doesn’t like going to see a good movie with 800 people and coming out with something in common. Barring that, Apple has saved the day for us. We had a magnificent movie that was not going to be seen.

Apple is a benevolent streaming service in every way. It’s going to look fantastic but it’s going to be available. It is going to be viewable, and otherwise we would’ve languished in a vault for a movie that is 88 minutes of a thematic story that does speak to what we’re all going through right now.

We didn’t know that at the time we made the film, we were just trying to make a lean, new spare version about procedures and behaviors about how difficult it was to stay alive in the North Atlantic in 1942. It’s a magnificent deal and we are going to be able to fill up the screens in the living rooms and the bean-bag chairs of the world all in one fall shot, so we feel as though we were rescued at sea by a convoy with a big Apple logo with a bite taken out of it.

The original story follows right ahead.

Tom Hanks whining about Apple

“Greyhound” was supposed to be a major theatrical blockbuster scheduled to be released on Father’s Day by Sony Pictures, but then the coronavirus happened and Hollywood basically delayed all major releases in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. What happened next was an intense bidding battle between the major streaming companies for the rights to the film, driven by the coronavirus shutdowns, in which Apple prevailed.

CNBC says Apple paid Sony close to $70 million for a whooping 15 years of streaming rights to the film while Sony gets to retain the right to distribute the movie in China. Furthermore, “Greyhound” marks the first time a Tom Hanks movie has gone straight to streaming.

The deal, approved by Hanks himself, was supposed to become Apple TV+’s biggest release to date. But now in an interview with the British newspaper Guardian, the actor makes it clear that he’s disappointed the film has shifted from the Big Screen to streaming.

The ungrateful actor

An excerpt from the Guardian piece:

“Greyhound” has been an especial labour of love for him, one he sweated over for almost a decade, and it is one of those sweeping war movies that really should be seen on the big screen. So the change in plans has been, he says, ‘an absolute heartbreak. I don’t mean to make angry my Apple overlords, but there is a difference in picture and sound quality.’

He even went on to complain that Apple’s stringent requirements are having a similarly negative impact on his appearance in the video interview:

Even though he is in his office, ‘the cruel whipmasters at Apple’ decided the background needed to be a blank wall, presumably so nosy journalists like me wouldn’t spend the whole encounter snooping at Hanks’ bookcases. Against the eerily empty backdrop, he looks, Hanks rightly says, as if he’s in ‘a witness protection programme. But here I am, bowing to the needs of Apple TV.’

I don’t even know where to start.

Hanks’ problematic move

This is no way to do promotion around your latest movie release.

It’s really a weird move on the actor’s part, who should know better than that. That’s especially the case knowing Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson were the first major stars to contract coronavirus while Hanks was filming an Elvis Presley biopic in Australia so they should know firsthand why some of the biggest blockbusters switched to direct-to-streaming releases.

I totally agree with Jack Purcher’s take over at PatentlyApple:

It’s too bad that I had to read this garbage from Hanks prior to the film being released on Apple TV+ on Friday. Hanks is just lucky that his film didn’t go on a shelf to collect dust at Sony because of how COVID-19 has wiped out theaters. He should have kept his personal feelings to himself prior to the film instead of taking several jab at Apple. A simple thank you to Apple would have sufficed.

While I won’t go as far as Purcher in claiming that “Greyhound” may just happen to be “the last film I’ll watch of his to be sure” (because I think Tom Hanks is one of the best actors in Hollywood), Tom’s comments are disappointing and leave a bad taste in one’s mouth.

What’s “Greyhound” all about?

“Greyhound” is a World War II epic inspired by real events.

Tom Hanks, who also wrote the screenplay and adapted it from C S Forester’s novel “The Good Shepherd”, plays the main character, captain Ernest Krause, who is in command of a Navy destroyer Greyhound tasked with leading an international convoy of 37 ships during the Battle of the Atlantic. The flick was directed by Aaron Schneider and produced by Gary Goetzman.

You can watch the trailer for “Greyhound” right ahead.

“Greyhound” is set to premiere on Apple TV+ this Friday, July 10.

Your take

So what’s your take on Hanks’ comments regarding “Greyhound” becoming an Apple TV+ exclusive? Are the media making too much fuss about nothing, do you think? And while we’re at it, will you watch “Greyhound” when it arrives this Friday?

Let us also know how you feel about ungrateful Tom Hanks in the comments down below.