Apple is working on dozens of original television shows and may also expand into feature films, with the company said to be close to signing a deal for an animated movie.
According to Bloomberg, Apple may soon sign a deal with Cartoon Saloon, an animation studio based in Ireland. While Cartoon’s Saloon’s movie has yet to be made, Apple is aiming to secure distribution rights for the United States and other countries.
It’s unclear how Apple plans to make the movie available, but a theatrical release, necessary to qualify for Academy Awards, is possible, one of the people said. Apple and Cartoon Saloon had no immediate comment on Thursday.
Cartoon Saloon has previously produced Academy Award-nominated animated films including “The Secret of Kells,” “The Song of the Sea,” and “The Breadwinner.”
Bloomberg warns that the talks have not yet finished and that the deal could still fall apart, but Apple’s discussion with Cartoon Saloon suggests the company is interested in content beyond TV shows.
It is not yet clear how Apple’s television shows (and potentially films) will be distributed, but it does have a TV app where it recently made one of its first shows, “Carpool Karaoke: The Series” available to watch.
The first of Apple’s TV shows could see a debut as soon as 2019, though it’s not known if the content will be free, available as part of Apple Music, or distributed through an as-of-yet unannounced video service.
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