Starring Samuel L. Jackson, the film tells the fascinating true story of Bernard Garrett Sr. and Joe Morris, two African Americans who built up a successful banking business in the 1950s and ’60s.
The Banker’s release was put on hold last November so that Apple could investigate allegations made against one of its producers.
Apple got us all excited for The Banker, its first original movie, when it dropped a teaser trailer two months ago. But it was just two weeks later when Cupertino confirmed it was putting the film on hold.
Apple now says it has reviewed the information available and concluded that The Banker should be shown. It is scheduled to make its debut in less than two months.
The Banker debuts on March 6
“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 explained in a statement to Cult of Mac.
“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 hits theaters on March 6 before gracing Apple TV+ on March 20.
It showcases the incredible true story of black entrepreneurs Bernard Garrett Sr. and Joe Morris, who, during a notoriously tough time for African-Americans, enlist a white man to front a successful banking business.
Garret Sr. is played by Anthony Mackie, while Morris is portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson. Nia Long, Nicholas Hoult, Jessie Usher, and Colm Meaney also star. George Nolfi is writing and directing.
Apple was forced to delay The Banker when it was revealed that Bernard Garrett Jr., Garrett Sr.’s son, had been accused of sexual misconduct by half-sisters Cynthia and Sheila Garrett.
Garrett Jr. is not depicted in the film, but he had served as a consultant during production — and helped promote it. Garrett Jr.’s name has since vanished from all publicity materials, and Apple confirmed to us he “will not profit from the release of the film in any form.”
A statement from the filmmakers, obtained by Cult of Mac, reads:
We set out to tell a story we were very passionate about, recounting the remarkable lives of Bernard Garrett Sr and Joe Morris, and their ground-breaking achievements combating racial inequality in the 1950s and 60s. 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 Banker was originally scheduled to hit theaters last December. Its premiere at AFI Fest in Los Angeles last November did not go ahead.