Apple is moving forward with its original production strategy and seems ready to become a mainstream player among Hollywood producers.
This week, the Writers Guild of America announced the tech giant signed onto the Writers Guild union agreement.
This means Apple has agreed to terms like script fees, weekly minimums and residuals, even for free-to-the-consumer content such as ad-supported programming.
“These deal terms are significant,” said WGA West president David A. Goodman and executive director David Young in a letter to the group’s members.
“First, the current MBA does not contain minimums or residuals for projects on free-to-consumer services (think Crackle). Terms have to be negotiated on a writer by writer basis. Except, now, at Apple.”
In addition, the executives said, this Apple deal lays the groundwork for future improvements at Facebook and other free-to-the-consumer platforms.
“While almost all Guild-covered internet programming has thus far been under a subscription (consumer pay) model -like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu- Facebook has already launched shows on their free-to-consumer service," continued the email. "As this market develops, it will be imperative to negotiate MBA protections for writers creating content for such services.”
“Our Apple deal moves us in that direction while the 2020 negotiations are still two years away.”
First International Production
Apple has already commissioned a few series and productions, such as the recently-announced comedy Dickinson
about the iconic poet, as well as three series from Reese Witherspoon’s production company Hello Sunshine: a morning show starring Witherspoon and Jennifer Anniston, Are You Sleeping
starring Octavia Spencer and a comedy led by Kristen Wiig, among others.
And now, the company has announced its first international production: it has landed rights to develop an international drama series based on Gregory David Roberts' best-seller Shantaram.
Published in 39 languages in 42 territories worldwide, Shantaram has sold more than 6 million copies.
The drama tells the story of Lin, a man on the run from an Australian prison looking to get lost in the teeming city of Bombay. Cut off from family and friends by distance and fate, he finds a new life in the slums, bars and underworld of India. The novel is a thrilling and profound exploration of love, forgiveness and courage on the long road to redemption.
Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominee Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle) will pen the script and executive produce alongside Emmy nominee David Manson (Ozark, Bloodline, House of Cards) and Anonymous Content's Steve Golin and Nicole Clemens as well as Andrea Barron.