Apple cancels premiere of ‘The Banker’ over ‘concerns’

Apple has canceled the world premiere of one of its first original films as it investigates sexual abuse allegations involving the family of the person the movie is based on.

"The Banker" was supposed to debut on Thursday in Hollywood at the American Film Institute’s AFI Fest.

The movie stars Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, and Nicholas Hoult.

Mackie plays Bernard Garrett Sr, who in the 1950s and 1960s recruited a white man, Matt Steiner, played by Hoult, as the face of his property and banking business.

According to The Hollywood Reporter two daughters of Mr Garrett contacted Apple, claiming that as children they were abused by Bernard Garrett Jr, their half-brother.

Bernard Garrett Jr had been a producer on the film but stepped down after the allegations, it was reported.

An Apple spokesman said: "We purchased ‘The Banker’ earlier this year as we were moved by the film’s entertaining and educational story about social change and financial literacy.

"Last week some concerns surrounding the film were brought to our attention. We, along with the filmmakers, need some time to look into these matters and determine the best next steps. In light of this, we are no longer premiering ‘The Banker’ at AFI Fest."

Mr Garrett Jr did not respond to requests for comment from The Hollywood Reporter.

Apple has been buying films to feed Apple TV+, the subscription video streaming service that the iPhone maker launched this month.

"The Banker" is due to hit cinemas on Dec 6 before streaming on Apple TV+, but it was not clear whether those plans were still in place.

The movie was Apple’s boldest step yet into film-making. AFI said it would replace "The Banker" with a screening of Noah Baumbach’s Netflix release "Marriage Story" as its closing-night film.