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Citing ‘concerns’ about ‘The Banker,’ Apple cancels its premiere tonight

Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie star in the true story of black businessmen in the 1950s and ‘60s who recruited a white frontman for their companies.

Anthony Mackie (left) and Samuel L. Jackson in “The Banker.”
Anthony Mackie (left) and Samuel L. Jackson in “The Banker.”
AppleTV+

Apple has canceled the premiere of one of the tech company’s first original films, “The Banker” just before its scheduled debut tonight at Los Angeles’ AFI Film Festival.

In a statement Wednesday, Apple said that last week it learned of “some concerns” surrounding “The Banker” and needs “some time to look into these matters.” An Apple spokesperson declined to elaborate.

The based-on-a-true-story film stars Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie. Mackie plays Bernard Garrett, who in the 1950s and ‘60s recruited a white man to pose as the face of his expansive real estate and banking business. In 1968, Garrett was convicted of misusing bank funds.

The film is Apple’s boldest step yet into moviemaking. A theatrical release in Chicago and other U.S. markets had been scheduled for Dec. 6, after which it would be a part of the company’s new streaming service, Apple TV Plus.

AFI said it would replace “The Banker” with a screening of Noah Baumbach’s Netflix release “Marriage Story” as its closing-night film.