Apple has hired former Amazon Studios alumni Morgan Wandell to head up its international development for Apple’s original content division, Apple Video.
Wandell’s official job title is international creative development for worldwide video. While at Amazon, he helped develop shows including The Man in the High Castle and Goliath, as well as the upcoming Jack Ryan and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Prior to this, Wandell worked at ABC Studios on shows including Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, and Desperate Housewives, as well as in-school educational network Channel One.
At Apple, he will work out of the Culver City office from the end of October, reporting to Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, who joined Apple from Sony back in June.
Building Apple Video’s brand
Morgan Wandell is the latest recruit to join Apple as it continues bolstering its Apple Video division. Last month, it brought on board Kim Rozenfeld, former head of programming at Sony Pictures Television, ex-Sony development execs Max Aronson and Ali Woodruff, and former WGN America head of publicity Rita Cooper.
Although Apple’s first efforts in original video — the reality TV shows Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke: The Series — have been critical flops, Apple is supposedly readying $1 billion to spend on launching additional shows. The mass hiring suggests that Apple’s next wave of green-lit shows is on the horizon.
In terms of acquisitions, Apple was recently reported as battling with Netflix over the rights to a new original drama series starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, and may even be throwing its name in the hat to acquire the rights to the James Bond franchise. Following the Harvey Weinstein scandal, it was revealed that Apple was also considering producing a series of authorized biopics about major music artists, including Elvis Presley — although those plans may now have stalled.
Wandell’s departure from Amazon Studios can be seen as a blow for that company, following so closely after the departure of Amazon Studios president Roy Price following allegations of sexual harassment.