Apple Might Move Into an Iconic Film Studio Famous for 'Gone with the Wind'
Apple’s reported push into producing original video programming is already picking up steam as the tech giant is reportedly looking to move its nascent production operations into an iconic Hollywood movie studio.
The Financial Times reports that Apple is in discussions to lease office space in The Culver Studios, the historic Culver City, Calif. studio that housed the filming of Gone with the Wind and other films Hollywood’s Golden Age, as well as classic TV shows such as The Andy Griffith Show and Lassie. Filmmakers Cecil B. DeMille and David O. Selznick, as well as billionaire Howard Hughes, once had ownership stakes in the studio, which in recent years has been used sporadically for various film and TV shoots.
Fortune reached out to Apple for comment and we will update this article with any response.
Apple isn’t the only tech giant reported to be eyeing The Culver Studios, as Amazon’s own original video business has also been linked to the location. The studio would be an attractive location for digital media companies looking for more space to expand film and TV operations as more and more tech players turn their focus to original video.
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In August, it was reported that Apple plans to spend at least $1 billion on original programming next year, which is a significant amount for a company that, to date, has only dipped a toe in the waters of original streaming video, with the reality show Planet of the Apps and an extended version of CBS late-night host James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke segment. In June, Apple hired former Sony Pictures co-presidents Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to lead its original video push.
Now, as Financial Times also reports, Apple is currently in talks for a planned drama series that would star A-list actresses Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. In that case, Apple would be bidding against more established streaming players, like Netflix.
For its part, Amazon is reportedly spending $4.5 billion on original video programming this year, while Netflix’s annual content budget is over $6 billion. Both Amazon and Netflix have been churning out popular streaming programming, resulting in a fair amount of critical acclaim, with the two streaming rivals both taking home Academy Awards earlier this year for original films. In addition to Apple’s video plans, rivals such as Google’s YouTube and Facebook are also investing heavily to produce more original digital TV series and films.