“Apple is eyeing the studio where films from Gone With The Wind to The Matrix were shot, as the base for its big push into Hollywood production,” Matthew Garrahan and Tim Bradshaw report for The Financial Times. “The iPhone maker is in discussions to move its original content division to The Culver Studios, whose former owners include RKO, Howard Hughes and Cecil B DeMille.”

“Apple’s interest in a studio which has been central to Hollywood moviemaking for close to a century, comes amid an intensifying Silicon Valley battle for the best movie scripts and television projects. Google’s YouTube is producing original television series, as is Amazon, which recently won Oscars for Manchester by the Sea and has been linked with a move to The Culver Studios,” Garrahan and Bradshaw report. “The Culver Studios would give Apple room to expand as it hires top Hollywood talent, according to three people familiar with the discussions. The site has 13 soundstages up to 32,000 sq ft in size that can accommodate TV show shoots and full-length feature film work. But Apple is mainly looking for office space, albeit in an iconic location that signals its ambitions to become a big force in Hollywood.”

“Apple intends to spend more than $1bn a year on original content and recently hired Sony duo Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to lead its push,” Garrahan and Bradshaw report. “Among the projects Apple is vying for is a high-profile drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, set on a morning TV chat show. The company is bidding against the likes of Netflix for rights to the drama, according to people familiar with the discussions… ‘They woke up and said, ‘Let’s really do this,” said one Hollywood agent. ‘It’s a lot different to a year or two ago.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s finally getting serious!

Note to Tim: Whenever negotiations are scheduled, tell Eddy there’s a Warriors game.

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