A24 has quickly become the cool kid on the block of independent film distributors and producers. Despite only being founded in 2012, the company’s devotion to creative storytelling and the uncompromising authorship of its filmmakers has made it quick to rise in popularity amongst film lovers. Due to its fairly successful track record among critics and its increasing count of Oscar wins, a movie suddenly becomes far more anticipated if it is an A24 release. And it seems as though tech giant Apple has caught wind of the company’s hype.
According to Variety, Apple and A24 have a new multiyear agreement, through which the studio will produce multiple films for the former in the company’s further development of its own original content. It’s not an exclusive partnership, however, so we can still expect to see films released by A24 independently and in conjunction with other companies outside of iTunes and Apple’s new subscription-based streaming service debuting next year.
What could a deal with a behemoth like Apple mean for those films that A24 will produce in collaboration with them? Little is known about the agreement beyond the fact that there is an agreement, so it’s unclear what can be expected from the films A24 makes for Apple compared to the studio’s other releases. But more output from the studio that’s given us Ex Machina, Eighth Grade, Hereditary, Lady Bird, The Florida Project, Free Fire, Room, Green Room, and more gems is automatically good news, and we have reason to be excited, for them and for ourselves as fans.
A partnership for A24 with a massive brand like Apple is actually a fantastic opportunity for the studio. Apple is a ball of corporate wealth, meaning that they’ll be providing major funding for the films that A24 makes with them. Essentially, filmmakers will be able to go to greater lengths to achieve their visions because they’ll have the money to do so. Creatively, it will open more doors for the execution of these films. Apple’s money could be going anywhere, so the fact that it will be going towards unique, auteur-driven filmmaking is something to be celebrated.
There is, however, the question of film release: will Apple-A24 films still be making it to the big screen? This is a question that currently remains unanswered, as it is unconfirmed whether Apple will make all of their original content exclusively available for streaming. They could still very well choose to do theatrical releases for their feature films, especially if there is money to be made at the box office and more Oscars are sought by the studio behind Best Picture winner Moonlight and Best Documentary Feature winner Amy.
Will there be certain genres that Apple favors? A24 is a pretty mixed bag of tricks — they’ve done everything from arthouse horror to satirical action comedy. But the company might be more picky about what they want to present to their audiences. They may choose to keep their focus tight or let A24 go as wild with genre as it pleases. Apple is known to be an innovator in the tech field — perhaps similar to A24’s position in the film world — so they will likely be open to a broader spectrum of material. From what we’ve seen of their interests so far, Apple is targeting talent more than anything else.
The biggest concern for many is likely whether A24 will lose its visionary and uncompromising approach with their films when working with a company like Apple. But the good news is this: that artistic touch is what made A24 so successful in the first place, and the acclaim they have received for it is that led Apple to ultimately end up working with the studio. In other words, they aren’t about to strip the company of the thing that makes them stand apart, and their support will, if anything, allow A24 even more room for artistic growth.
Of course, much is still left up in the air and will only be affirmed when the partnership’s projects are finally announced. But it can be said that this collaboration between A24 and Apple will allow for more creative possibilities than the studio would have had before. Audiences have plenty of reason to anticipate the projects of this partnership — several new and exciting cinematic experiences are just around the corner.