After indefinitely delaying the film to review concerns, Apple has now issued new release dates for The Banker. The film, one of Apple's first major film releases, was set to be an awards contender.
In November 2019, Apple learned of allegations against the son of one of the film's real-life subjects, who was a co-producer on the film. Two daughters of Bernard Garrett Sr., who is portrayed by Anthony Mackie in the film, are alleging that their half-brother, Bernard Garrett, Jr., sexually abused them when they were younger. Cynthia Garrett also seems to dispute the timeline of some of the events that are depicted in the movie, as her mother (who is not shown in the film) was married to Garrett Sr. when a lot of the events took place, and not his first wife, Eunice, portrayed by Nia Long (read more on the sisters' allegations here). Garrett Jr. has denied the allegations. He was also removed as a producer on the film.
After the allegations were made known, Apple pulled the film from its premiere at AFI Fest and had postponed its theatrical release. A streaming date was never announced initially.
“We created Apple TV+ as a home for stories that matter and believe The Banker, inspired by the brave actions of Bernard Garrett Sr. and Joe Morris, two African American businessmen who brought about positive social change, is one of those stories,” Apple TV+ told Variety.
"We wanted to take the time to understand the situation at hand — and after reviewing the information available to us, including documentation of the filmmakers’ research, we’ve decided to make this important and enlightening film available to viewers. The Banker, starring Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, Nia Long and Nicholas Hoult will be released theatrically on March 6, 2020, and available on Apple TV Plus on March 20, 2020.”
Here's the official description of the film: Based on a true story, The Banker centers on revolutionary businessmen Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson), who devise an audacious and risky plan to take on the racist establishment of the 1960s by helping other African Americans pursue the American dream of homeownership. Along with Garret’s wife Eunice (Nia Long), they train a working-class white man, Matt Steiner (Nicholas Hoult), to pose as the rich and privileged face of their burgeoning real estate and banking empire--while Garrett and Morris pose as a janitor and a chauffeur. Their success ultimately draws the attention of the federal government, which threatens everything the four have built. The drama is directed by George Nolfi and produced by Joe Viertel.
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