Apple TV+ has had some huge projects in the works for quite some time, pulling together some of the biggest talent in showbiz and shelling out some very big bucks for a loaded lineup. The talent behind some of its shows guaranteed that it would stand out from the competition, and that's saying something considering how much streaming competition there will be in the not-too-distant future. Now, however, there's one show that will be missing from the Apple TV+ lineup, and it's because of behind-the-scenes disagreements. So, no Richard Gere!
Yes, the show that would have starred Richard Gere has fallen apart before Apple TV+ could even launch. Here's what happened.
The project was called Bastards and was slated to run for eight episodes, featuring Richard Gere as one half of a pair of Vietnam veterans and best friends. Their lives are thrown off course when a woman they both loved half a century ago dies. Due to a combination of lifetimes of regrets, secrets, and a resentment of millennials, they go on a shooting spree. THR reports that Apple TV+ won the bidding war for Bastards with "a rich offer," with Howard Gordon of Homeland and Warren Leight of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on board as co-writers and co-showrunners.
Howard Gordon and Warren Leight reportedly worked together on two scripts for Bastards, and received notes from Apple concerning the vigilante justice and tone of the scripts. Gordon allegedly wanted to focus on darker elements of the story, and production studio Fox 21 was on his side, with Apple wanting more of a focus on the friendship between the two veterans. Leight left the series, while Apple reportedly was looking to pursue a tone of heart, emotion, and friendship.
With Warren Leight gone and Fox 21 siding with Howard Gordon, Apple chose to pay a significant penalty and pass on the project. It's possible that Bastards could find a new home elsewhere, especially considering how many streaming services there are either on the market or going on the market in the not-too-distant future, but there are no guarantees at this point. The failure to come to an agreement on Bastards marks the first time an ordered project was axed by Apple. Bastards had received a straight-to-series order.
Bastards hadn't received a ton of publicity from Apple TV+, so the loss of the show from the lineup may not be all that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Then again, Apple TV+ itself hasn't done a whole lot to promote its launch and its slate of shows. Admittedly, the service doesn't actually have a launch date yet, although it is expected to go live in the fall. Contrasted with the other major streaming service launching in the coming months, Apple TV+ has done very little.
Then again, even streaming giant Netflix doesn't do events on par with what Disney put on to hype Disney+ at the recent 2019 D23 Expo. Considering how much Apple is spending to launch Apple TV+, I'm guessing we can count on a big push once the launch date is announced and approaches.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest news in the streaming TV game. While there's still no confirmation of when Apple TV+ will launch, there are plenty of shows that have received their premiere dates that you can find on our 2019 fall guide.