Even before the launch of its first streaming service Apple TV+, the tech giant has already cancelled one of its original works for the streaming platform, ‘Bastards’. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Apple has axed the Richard Gere vehicle Bastards after failing to come up to a compromise over the tone of series. However, Apple apparently fought hard to keep the show under production and also agreed to pay a penalty, considering this is not the first time for Apple to get a show that it has already decided not to produce.
Bastards was set to be an adaptation of an Israeli show that followed two elderly war veterans. Brought together by a tragic car accident and disillusioned by the state of the world, they end up going on a shooting spree. According to THR, Apple wanted to tone down the dark aspects of the scripts turned in by showrunners Howard Gordon and Warren Leight to focus more on the friendship between the two leads. The production companies making the series for Apple, including Fox 21, backed Leight and Gordon’s violent vision and the talks ended in a stalemate. Apple opted to let the program go and pay a penalty. The show reverted back to the production companies and, soon after that, Gordon left 20th Century Fox for Sony. With Apple already out, Bastards is now hanging in the middle and with what it looks like, Gere TV appearance won’t be anytime soon.
Cancelling of a single show might not seem to be a big deal for other streaming platforms, but for Apple it definitely makes a difference. New Streaming platform’s like Disney+ have a back catalogue which there users can go through while the company release their own original works. For Apple this is certainly not the case, they are not backed up with a whole lot of other series thus cancelling even one of the series is going to affect a lot.
Now another major reason why the critics are interested to know what will be the fate of Apple’s TV+ is the strong financial base the company has got, with more than $210 billion in hand and a content budget of more than $6 billion. Apple has the luxury of wanting subscribers, but without needing to rely on them or Apple TV Plus for the company’s continued success. This is different from a company like Netflix, whose entire revenue comes from subscriptions. Still, reports of creative differences leading showrunners to depart series and a lack of overall content for a paid service could leave potential customers feeling wary.