Apple cancels its upcoming Elvis series after the news, broken by The New York Times late last week, that longtime Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by numerous women over the last two decades. It has cost Weinstein his position in charge of The Weinstein Company, and raised all sorts of disturbing questions about who knew of Weinstein’s behavior, for how long, and whether large swathes of the movie business were complicit in the executive’s misdeeds.
With Weinstein out of his company, there are also questions about what will happen with projects planned for the coming years by the company, which will reportedly change its name in the wake of its founder’s departure. Now, we know that least one major project to have been produced by Weinstein will not be going forward.
Apple has canceled a planned biopic project about music legend Elvis Presley that was set up at the Weinstein Company, Deadline reported Monday. The project, which had been set up but not formally announced, was to consist of a biopic series, with an eye towards being part of a larger anthology that would later feature installments with such artists as Prince and Michael Jackson.
According to Deadline, the deal was originally set up through Apple Music, but Apple plans to now re-engage other bidders who had sought to make it during the original discussions. The Weinstein Company, while mostly known as a movie studio, produced a large array of TV series, including Project Runway and Scream, with several others in the works; TWC had already announced that Weinstein’s name would be removed from the credits of future TV projects.
The news about the Elvis series shows that things in Hollywood are going to change rather quickly with Weinstein out of the picture. They also represent a blow to Apple, which is gearing up to challenge Netflix and Amazon for supremacy in the streaming video space, as well as the legacy of Presley, whose career has never been the subject of a major biopic - despite some false starts - and is somewhat due for a cultural revival.
Canceling Weinstein-associated projects, of course, is the easy part. Whether the industry can learn more profound, human lessons from the scandal, and prevent such terrible things from happening in the future, is another question altogether.
Stay tuned here at Screen Rant for more news on a new home for the Elvis project.