Apple Cancels 'The Banker' AFI Fest Premiere

The Banker - Publicity still - H 2019

A day before its debut, the tech giant says "some concerns surrounding the film were brought to our attention."

Apple has canceled the AFI Fest premiere of The Banker, which had been set to close the event Thursday.

"We purchased The Banker earlier this year as we were moved by the film's entertaining and educational story about social change and financial literacy," an Apple spokesperson on Wednesday told The Hollywood Reporter.

Added an Apple rep, "Last week some concerns surrounding the film were brought to our attention. We, along with the filmmakers, need some time to look into these matters and determine the best next steps. In light of this, we are no longer premiering The Banker at AFI Fest."

Apple disclosed the cancellation of the AFI Fest premiere for The Banker after concerns were raised involving the real-life subjects on which the drama is based. 

The Banker stars Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie, the latter of whom plays Bernard Garrett, a black man, who, in the 1950s and 1960s, built a small financial empire by using a white man as the face of the business. Garrett testified before a Senate committee in 1965 and went to prison shortly thereafter, and he is considered instrumental in civil rights legislation involving the banking industry.

Georg Nolfi directed the film, while Mackie is a producer and Jackson is an executive producer. The primary production companies behind the project are Romulus Entertainment and Iam21 Entertainment, and Apple TV+ is its distributor.

The Banker is an important foray into original film for Apple, which is expected to make an awards push for it, as it is set for a theatrical release on Dec. 6 before it heads to Apple's new streamer, Apple TV+, as one of its most prominent pieces of original content.

Instead of The Banker, AFI Fest will screen Marriage Story to close the event. The Netflix film stars Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Merritt Wever and Laura Dern.