Today in Apple history: iTunes puts the hurt on DVDs


iTunes getting day-and-date releases for new movies was a big deal.
Photo: Apple

May1 May 1, 2008: The iTunes Store takes a gigantic step toward cinematic relevancy, selling new movies on the day of their DVD releases for the very first time.

“We’re thrilled to bring iTunes Store customers new films for purchase day-and-date with the DVD release,” Eddy Cue says. “We think movie fans will love being able to buy their favorites from major and independent studios.”

Movies out that week include Cloverfield, Juno, Alvin and the Chipmunks and American Gangster.

Senior Apple execs fight for Hollywood deals


Eddy Cue
Eddy Cue is one of three Apple chiefs trying to secure original content.
Photo: CNBC

Three senior Apple executives are in talks with Hollywood’s “most successful” TV and movie producers over original content for Apple TV, according to a new report.

Each member of the trio, which includes Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services, is so desperate to secure the first deal that they supposedly are fighting against each other.

Apple pitches Hollywood on rushing movies to iTunes


Apple wants a deal with studio execs to bring high-priced movie rentals to iTunes within days of release.
Apple wants a deal with studio execs to bring high-priced movie rentals to iTunes within days of release.
Photo: William Iven/UnSplash

Apple and Hollywood are reportedly in talks to provide home-video rentals of movies as little as two weeks after theatrical release.

Studio heads from Warner Bros., Universal Pictures and 21st Century Fox have indicated recently they are looking for deals. Two unidentified sources close to the talks told Bloomberg News the studios are considering partnering with Apple and iTunes.

Gwyneth Paltrow is bringing her coding skills to ‘Planet of the Apps’


planet of the apes with tim cook
Welcome to our new world Gwyneth.
Photo: Twentieth Century Fox/Apple

Apple has signed Hollywood superstar Gwyneth Paltrow to join its unscripted series ‘Planet of the Apps’.

Paltrow will be joined by and serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk on the show where all three will serve as mentors and advisors to app developers in the series that will reportedly act as a launch pad to exceptional developers.

Apple is secretly planning to take over Hollywood 


Apple TV might get exclusive TV shows.
Apple TV might get exclusive TV shows.
Photo: Apple

Hollywood’s top filmmakers held secret meetings with Apple at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, according to a new report that claims Apple is planning to make a big play to take on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video by creating its own original TV shows and movies.

Apple hosted a secret ‘iTunes Lounge’ at Sundance for a number of invitation-only events for film makers, producers, actors, and other A-list talent to hear the company’s pitch on how it plans to create a ton of original content that will be exclusively available on Apple TV.

Meet the official cast of the Steve Jobs movie


The official cast of Steve Jobs has been announced. Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac
The official cast of Steve Jobs has been announced. Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs movie has been down a hard road on its way to production. Disasters like fickle actors and directors have plagued the project, but filming is finally underway in San Francisco as we speak, and for the first time ever, we have an official cast list.

Universal Pictures announced the official cast for the movie this week as filming has already wrapped up at Jobs’ parents garage. The logline confirms the film will be “set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 2001 with the unveiling of the iPod. The film takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at its epicenter.”

We already knew Michael Fassbender has been tapped to play Jobs, but the official cast list includes a few surprises — like the three different actresses that will play Steve’s daughter — and a veteran Apple PR guru we didn’t see coming.

Here’s the full cast alongside the real-life people they’ll play:

The App Store makes more money than Hollywood


App Store is now the world's top entertainer. Photo: Buster Hein
App Store is now the world's top entertainer. Photo: Buster Hein

9 things we’re desperately hoping Batman V Superman gets right



9 things we're desperately hoping Batman V Superman gets right

There are few comic books movies fanboys are salivating over more than 2016's upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.

As huge Superman and Batman fans, no-one is more excited than we are. With that in mind, here are the 9 things we hope more than anything that director Zack Snyder is able to get right for history's most eagerly-anticipated team-up. Check out the gallery to find out what they are.

Give us a good Batman villain

While The Joker is, without a doubt, the ultimate Batman villain, we’ve seen him too recently thanks to Heath Ledger’s brilliant performance in 2008’s The Dark Knight. Instead, I’d like to see the filmmakers revisit the Batman antagonist with the most promise yet to be given the proper big screen treatment.

By this, I refer to Mr. Freeze, who was last brought to unconvincing life by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1997’s dreadful Batman & Robin. Since then we’ve had a superb New 52 remix of Freeze’s origin, downplaying the character’s tragic origins in favor of an added dose of insanity.

Play Freeze as a (no pun intended) coolly calculating criminal mastermind, like Kevin Spacey’s John Doe in Se7en, and you have a character who could mentally torture both Batman and Superman equally. Freeze’s love for cold would even tie into Superman’s arctic Fortress of Solitude.

Get Superman's villain right

We’ve already heard that we’re getting Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. The last thing this movie needs is an overload of villains, so hopefully Zack Snyder will concentrate on getting Luthor right, as opposed to adding more enemies from Superman’s rogues gallery.

Although Bryan Cranston and Bruce Willis would’ve been picks more in line with the Lex Luthor of the comic series, Eisenberg has the makings of a great Lex Luther reimagining, particularly if he can channel some of his Mark Zuckerberg character from The Social Network. Since The Man of Steel was all about Superman being challenged physically, this could be a perfect inversion of that concept.

Besides, forget industrialists -- the real power brokers today are the billionaire techies from Silicon Valley.

Let Batman be a detective

Chris Nolan ticked off a lot of the Batman characteristics in his landmark Dark Knight trilogy, but very rarely did Batman venture into the Dark Knight Detective persona he is presented as in the comics. In a movie that looks like it’ll be filled with super powered heroes, Batman is going to be very quickly outshone if he doesn’t have something to set him apart.

That "something" should be his intelligence, which was presented so well on paper by Grant Morrison in his classic run on JLA. Zack Snyder’s films are sometimes singled out for being more about surface than about substance. By making Batman into the thinking man’s hero, a lot of that criticism could be allayed.

Get the dynamic between Batman and Superman right

This point cannot be stressed enough. The Batman movies especially have always focused on the duality of Bruce Wayne/Batman, and this is the opportunity to take that idea one step further. Batman and Superman are polar opposites, and this could have the makings of a great on-screen chemistry provided the two lead actors are up to it..

Yes, everyone wants to see the heroes fight (more on that later) but Bruce and Clark’s opposite ways of looking at the world could give us the best back-and-forth dialogue this side of Captain America and Iron Man.

Highlight the difference between Gotham and Metropolis

It’s not just Batman and Superman who need to have the right dynamic: the two heroes’ respective home towns also need to emphasize the differences between both. The closest we’ve come to the right architecture for Gotham was in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman, while Snyder’s The Man of Steel offered a perfectly acceptable Metropolis.

Where Batman’s city is full of rain, gargoyles, and perpetual nighttime, Superman’s Metropolis should be sunny, gleaming and brimming with skyscrapers. Batman is more at home in Gotham, while Superman feels more comfortable in the Big M. Hopefully Snyder has a plan for taking both heroes out of their comfort zone at one point in the flick.

Give us a Batman vs. Superman fight

Let’s be honest: if a movie called Batman V Superman doesn’t feature a slugfest between our two titular heroes, fanboys are going to riot. The San Diego Comic-Con already hinted at this confrontation by invoking the image of Frank Miller’s legendary graphic novel, The Dark Knight Returns, which ends with an all-out slugfest between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel.

The challenge with Batman V Superman is going to be having the two clash in such a way that it neither weakens the heroes for future standalone movies, or makes it nonsensical that they’d team up for the sequel. There are plenty of ways to do this: we just hope the writers pick the right one.


Make it a film that stands on its own

Easier said than done, given that the movie’s title alone sets this up as essentially an extended preview for a Justice League flick. But fans have waited more than 70 years to see Batman and Superman together on screen, so it’s vital that this film feels like its own animal rather than just a stepping stone to a bigger team-up.

It’s one thing to want to see the sequel the moment the credits roll; another one entirely to feel like the producers are already tugging at your wallet.

Give us Robin

In a post-Kickass world, the idea of a Hit-Girl style sidekick is no longer unrealistic. Why not set Batman V Superman apart from the Nolanverse, then, by featuring Batman’s crime fighting partner, Robin? To continue the Dark Knight Returns vibe, perhaps even make Robin the female Carrie Kelley incarnation for good measure.

...And give us a proper Batmobile while you're at it!

Yeah, we get it: the Dark Knight's Tumbler was how the Batmobile could conceivably look in the real world. But can we please have one that looks somewhat like a bat this time? I don’t think too many fans would complain if we got Tim Burton’s sleek Batmobile back.

Sex Tape’s porn fiasco could never happen with iCloud, says Apple



Apple appears in more movies each year than Samuel L. Jackson.

The latest flick to feature the company’s products is the new comedy, Sex Tape, in which Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal record an “adult home movie” on their iPad, only to accidentally upload it to the iCloud, so that all their friends and family get to see it. (Yep, it’s basically the American Pie joke, only stretched to fill an entire movie.)

While Apple’s inclusion in the film means that Cupertino is presumably happy with the script (the trailer even features an added reference to Siri), when GQ magazine contacted AppleCare to find out whether the described scenario could actually happen it was told that it is pretty much flat-out science-fiction.

8 movies in need of a blockbuster reboot



Which movies deserve a refresh?

Hollywood is reboot-mad, with some movies (like Chis Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy) coming up trumps and others (like this year's Godzilla) falling short of fan expectations.

We've opined about concepts we wish Apple would revisit, but tech isn't the only area where good ideas get forgotten. There are plenty of series we'd love to see dusted off, either because the original was so good or because the subject proved just a bit too ambitious for its time. With that in mind, here's our gallery of eight movie franchises we'd love to see back on screen in the near future.

Which ones made the cut? Click through the gallery above to find out.

The Last Starfighter

Pixar movies are all well and good (well, great), but I can’t help but miss the kind of kid’s movies that did the rounds in the 1980s. Of these, The Last Starfighter was a favorite -- and it’s definitely prime material for a reboot.

The movie tells the story of Alex Rogan, an average teen boy who’s recruited by an alien defense force to help fight in an interstellar war, all because of his skill at the Starfighter arcade game. It was essentially a Star Wars ripoff, but it was one of the best ones, and among the first films to feature CGI graphics.

Three decades after the movie’s 1984 release, video games have moved on a lot, but The Last Starfighter's key ingredients would be great in a refresh for the Oculus Rift generation. Today’s photo-realistic graphics and immersive VR environments would also open the doors for a blurring between fantasy and reality, making this a cross between The Last Starfighter and Total Recall.


I’m a Stargate geek, plain and simple. From the original 1994 Roland Emmerich movie to SG-1, Atlantis, Infinity and even Stargate Universe, I’ve watched pretty much everything related to this military space-hopping sci-fi series.

As much as I love the concept, though, there’s little doubt that the idea of present-day military men and women who travel across the universe and find themselves in an alien version of ancient Egypt could benefit from modern special effects. The original movie feels oddly small these days, and imagining what could be done in post-Avatar Hollywood is pretty mind-boggling. Original co-creator Emmerich has pretty much disavowed most of the spinoffs, but that doesn’t mean he couldn't borrow the odd idea here and there.


Speaking of sandy epics ... Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi novel Dune has, to date, spawned one movie and two TV miniseries. Herbert himself wrote six novels, but thanks to his son Brian and co-author Kevin J. Anderson, Dune has now expanded to a series of 20 novels's worth of potential movie source material — with various prequels and tangential side notes that all manage to connect into a single, sprawling storyline.

If you’ve never read one, trying to explain the plot is a bit like trying to fill in a newbie on Game of Thrones during the opening credits of an episode midway through Season 4. Set more than 20,000 years in the future, Dune takes place in a world in which royal houses battle for control of the desert planet Arrakis and its precious resource, the spice melange. Being every bit as deep as the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings universes, it’s got plenty of mileage to kick-start a new franchise.

Reign of Fire

Unlike every other movie on this list, Reign of Fire never really delivered in its original incarnation. A movie about military fighting dragons should have been superb, brainless fun rather than an uninspired mess. A reboot could take the high-concept brilliance of the original, add a bit more Godzilla-style destruction, and wind up with a movie that could be well worth a look.

Note to would-be rebooters: Good luck getting the original cast of Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey and Gerard Butler for anything close to 2002's price.


It’s only been a few years since the last entry in Chris Nolan’s fantastic Dark Knight trilogy, but what can I say — I’m a Batman fan! The great thing about a hero whose exploits have been published every month for 75 years is that there are dozens of distinctive takes on the character that could form the basis of a reboot.

Tim Burton’s movies were vintage goth Batman; Nolan’s flicks brought the character into the real world; Zack Snyder’s upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will seemingly borrow heavily from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. So what’s left for another solo series? How about a movie that embraces Batman’s comic book persona as it exists today? Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have been setting the world on fire with their kick-ass interpretation of Batman in DC Comics' New 52, while the Arkham video games introduced a new generation to Batman’s rogues gallery.

Is there a single solitary person who wouldn’t want to see Snyder and Capullo’s Batman go one-on-one with, say, Deadshot? There have been some very good movies in Batman's history, but none that have ever felt quite like the comic. And let’s finally have a proper version of Robin while we’re at it.


Remake Alien? Sacrilege! Remind moviegoers of why it's one of the best and most terrifying franchises around with a reboot? Absolutely.

Even as someone who dearly loves the Alien franchise and quotes James Cameron’s Aliens on an almost daily basis, I readily admit there hasn’t been a great entry in the series since the '80s -- or a passable one since 1997.

Like so many of the movies mentioned here, the real advance that would bring Alien up-to-date is the leap forward in special effects. Modern CGI would make possible some of the grand-scale battle scenes that simply weren’t feasible back when the franchise was in its prime. An even better idea: Borrow from the cinematic revelation that was Gravity to take this film back to its scary roots.


Pulp Fiction

This is another movie nobody should ever think about remaking, but which could have the makings of a fantastic sequel. Quentin Tarantino has created a lot of memorable characters in his career, but perhaps none more so than Vincent Vega, Jules Winnfield, Marsellus Wallace and gang.

While the original tied up each plot line neatly within the confines of the movie, there are still plenty of questions left over about what happened next. Tarantino’s talked about revisiting some of Pulp Fiction's characters, but to date he never has. We’re there in a shot the moment he does.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy, one of the best shows of the late '90s, rose to prominence thanks to the same winning mix of kick-ass fantasy action, soap opera plotting and snappy one-liners that would go on to make The Avengers a comic book movie classic. Taking the core concept of a teenage vampire hunter -- which got turned into a comedy/horror film in 1992 -- and adding some Walking Dead-level grit would be the perfect way to reclaim vampire movies from the ignominy of Twilight.

What did we miss?

Got your own favorite movie or TV franchise that’s just begging for a reboot? Let us know in the comments below.