- With over a $40 million dollar deal, Apple acquired the Russo-directed film 'Cherry' to contend for an Academy Award and build the streamer's originals slate.
Apple has acquired Anthony and Joe Russo’s film Cherry in a deal in the high $40 million range. The film is the Russo Brothers first to direct since Avengers: Endgame became the highest-grossing film of all time worldwide.
Cherry is an adaptation of the bestselling novel by Nico Walker, which narrates his own story. The film stars Tom Holland and Ciara Bravo (Small Engine Repair, Big Time Rush).
Holland plays the role of young Cleveland Walker, a man who joins the army after being rejected by the love of his life and right before she returns to tell him that they are meant to be together. Cleveland then becomes an Army medic in Iraq and witnesses the violence and carnage of war. After his return back home, he is prescribed Oxycontin for his undiagnosed PTSD. He and his young wife, portrayed by Bravo, become serial bank robbers to feed their pills and heroin addiction that puts them in debt.
The Russo Brothers had participated in an auction for the rights to the novel, which was limited by Walker’s available phone minutes as he was still serving time in prison. The filmmakers were drawn by the story as they became aware of the unchecked Oxycontin dispensaries harrowing their own hometown. The Russos closed a $1 million deal through their AGBO banner.
The film was introduced at Cannes by Endeavor Content partnered with CAA Media Finance, who currently represent the siblings, to broker the film deals.
Apple’s acquisition of one of the biggest films of the season further strengthens the odds of Apple TV+ to contend for an Academy Award, along with their already acquired pictures that include Tom Hanks’ Greyhound, Emancipation starring Will Smith, and Martin Scorsese‘s Killers of the Flower Moon starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. Cherry joins Apple’s original film slate that includes Sofia Coppola’s On the Rocks starring Rashida Jones and Bill Murray. The streamer’s plan is to premiere Cherry in early 2021.
The project was co-written by Jessica Goldberg and Angela Russo-Otstot. Kelli Berglund (Now Apocalypse), Jack Reynor (Midsommar), Forrest Goodluck (The Revenant), Jeff Wahlberg (Dora and the Lost City of Gold), Michael Gandolfini (The Deuce), and Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!) join Holland and Bravo as the picture’s cast. The Russos produced the film with Mike Larocca, AGBO’s Vice Chairman, along with Chris Castaldi, and The Hideaway Entertainment CEO Jonathan Gray and President Matthew Rhodes. AGBO’s Todd Makurath, Jake Aust and Hideaway’s Kristy Maurer Grisham and Judd Payne serve as the film’s executive producers.
The Russo Brothers are slated to direct The Gray Man for Netflix starring Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling, and the siblings will start production in 2021 for the Priyanka Chopra-Jones and Richard Madden led Amazon miniseries Citadel.