Apple has scheduled a March theatrical release for The Banker after reviewing sexual abuse claims surrounding one of the film’s producers, the tech giant said Thursday.
The Banker, Apple’s first-ever original film, stars Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie in the true story of Bernard Garrett Sr. and Joe Morris. The two men built a successful banking business in the 1950s and ’60s to help African Americans overcome racial barriers and secure bank loans.
The film had been scheduled to arrive in theaters on Dec. 6, and debut on Apple TV+ in January.
But in November, Apple canceled the premiere and delayed the release after Cynthia and Sheila Garrett came forward with abuse allegations against their half-brother, Bernard Garrett Jr., a co-producer on the film. The two women alleged Garrett Jr. molested them for years when they were children. He denied all of their allegations.
Apple now says it has reviewed the available information and decided to release The Banker.
“We created Apple TV Plus 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,” the tech company, director George Nolfi, and actor-producers Mackie and Jackson said in a joint statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
Apple and the filmmakers added that they stand behind the movie.
“Though we have no way of knowing what may have transpired between Mr. Garrett’s children in the 1970s, including the allegations of abuse we have recently been made aware of, our hearts go out to anyone who has suffered. The film itself is not based on the recollections of any of Bernard Garrett Sr.’s children, but rather on recorded interviews with Bernard Garrett Sr. himself, conducted in 1995, supported by congressional transcripts, court rulings, and other media articles from the era. We stand by the film and its positive message of empowerment,” the statement added.
The Banker will arrive in theaters on March 6, and debut on Apple TV+ on March 20.