Tom Hanks doesn’t sound too happy about having his baby, Greyhound, debut on Apple TV+ instead of theaters due to COVID-19. Of course, his bank account is probably happy will all of those guaranteed millions deposited upfront, though; not that it matters to him at this point. Regardless, Hanks, bemoans his “Apple overlords” in a new interview, which is an interesting choice for promoting a film – as is the use of “whipmasters” at this point in time – but, hey he was probably joking and any publicity for a film is better than none!
It is because of that modern-day Vesuvius – coronavirus – that Hanks and I are talking through screens, and he is promoting a film that will be streamed on Apple TV+ instead of released in cinemas. Greyhound tells the story of Capt Ernie Krause (Hanks, natch) on his first wartime mission in the Battle of the Atlantic. It is, I tell him, a classic Hanks role, by which I mean he plays a thoroughly good man in extraordinary circumstances.
Hanks doesn’t just star in Greyhound, he also produced it and wrote the screenplay, adapting it from C S Forester’s novel The Good Shepherd. “My ego has run rampant, Hadley, and it’s all over the picture!” he hoots. Hanks has written films before – the 1996 paean to 60s bands, That Thing You Do!, and 2011’s Larry Crowne. But Greyhound has been an especial labour of love for him, one he sweated over for almost a decade, and it is one of those sweeping war movies that really should be seen on the big screen. So the change in plans has been, he says, “an absolute heartbreak. I don’t mean to make angry my Apple overlords, but there is a difference in picture and sound quality.”
Apple TV+ is having a similarly negative impact on Hanks’ appearance in this interview. Even though he is in his office, “the cruel whipmasters at Apple” decided the background needed to be a blank wall, presumably so nosy journalists like me wouldn’t spend the whole encounter snooping at Hanks’ bookcases. Against the eerily empty backdrop, he looks, Hanks rightly says, as if he’s in “a witness protection programme. But here I am, bowing to the needs of Apple TV.”
MacDailyNews Note: Greyhound will make its global debut to audiences in over 100 countries on July 10th, exclusively on Apple TV+.