“Apple Inc. has decided on its next Hollywood act: making feature films,” Anousha Sakoui, Mark Gurman, and Lucas Shaw report for Bloomberg. “A deal is near for the rights to an animated movie as part of its upcoming slate of original video offerings, according to people familiar with the matter. Apple is in talks with Cartoon Saloon, an Ireland-based, Oscar-nominated animation studio, said the people, who asked not to be identified speaking about private negotiations.”

“The movie has yet to be made and is more than a year from release, but Apple has been in talks to buy distribution rights for the U.S. and some other countries, the people said,” Sakoui, Gurman, and Shaw report. “It’s unclear how Apple plans to make the movie available, but a theatrical release, necessary to qualify for Academy Awards, is possible, one of the people said.”

“Last year, Apple hired TV industry veterans Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to build an in-house studio. The two executives got a budget of at least $1 billion to spend in a year, people familiar with the plans told Bloomberg previously,” Sakoui, Gurman, and Shaw report. “Cartoon Saloon is based in Kilkenny, Ireland, and has three Academy Award-nominated animations: Secret of Kells, The Breadwinner and Song of the Sea, a 2014 film based on Irish folklore.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Gorgeous, brilliant films all, especially Secret of Kells which, if you haven’t yet seen it, should go on your watch list right now.