Before Apple TV+ launched last year, its goal was pretty straightforward: Make premium, ad-free content for a pretty decent monthly subscription price. At launch, though, Apple had all the production and far less of the substance—at least not enough to make the kind of splash it probably had hoped for straight out of the gate.
In the time since, Apple TV+ has taken some bigger swings at securing buzzy, subscriber-luring content plays. To be clear, star power was never really the issue—Apple had plenty of that with stars of its launch day titles like The Morning Show (Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell) and See (Jason Momoa). But Hollywood A-listers can only carry a film or series so far, and name recognition means nothing if your service doesn’t actually interest viewers or help lock down paying subscribers.
Fast forward a few months, and Apple has been busy snapping up esteemed writers and directors left and right. Most recently, Martin Scorsese—whose The Irishman did gangbusters on rival streaming service Netflix last year—has signed a multi-year agreement with Apple TV+ for film and TV projects, according to multiple outlets. According to Deadline, which first reported the news, the deal with Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions will include the recently acquired Killers Of The Flower Moon starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.
This is certainly a big get for Apple, but it’s also the latest in a string of creators Apple TV+ has managed to woo to its service. Apple also managed to snap up the Tom Hanks-starring WWII drama Greyhound, which released last month; Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions signed a multi-year deal with the tech giant earlier this year; Sofia Coppola is set to bring multiple projects to the platform, and the company is said to have signed a multi-year agreement with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson’s studio Appian Way Productions for documentary and TV projects.
That is an absolutely dumb-founding amount of secured talent—much of it relatively recently reported—and likely just the tip of this premium content iceberg.
In other words, Apple TV+ may have shit the bed with consideration for viewer demand at launch, but the service genuinely looks poised to release some of the higher-profile projects launching on streaming services over the course of the next few years—that is, if Apple leaves directors the hell alone to produce quality stories without any of its tech nerd meddling.