Tom Hanks Makes a Return to Apple TV+ in ‘Finch’, Coming November 5

In some ways, the new film sounds like a sci-fi version of Cast Away.
Tom Hanks Finch Movie Credit: Apple
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Following the massive success of Greyhound, it looks like superstar Tom Hanks will be making a return to Apple TV+ this November, starring in the highly-anticipated new Apple Original sci-fi film Finch, a story about an unlikely family formed by a man, a robot, and a dog.

Hanks stars in the role of the titular character, a robotics engineer who is one of the few survivors of a cataclysmic solar event. He’ll be joined by Screen Actors Guild Award winner Caleb Landry Jones, who will play the role of “Jeff,” the robot that Finch creates to ensure that his dog Goodyear will be taken care of after he’s gone.

As one might expect from a Tom Hanks film, Finch is being put together by a pretty heady production team, including filmmaker Miguel Sapochnik, who won two Emmys for his work on Game of Thrones. The screenplay was also co-written by Ivor Powell, who worked on both Blade Runner and Alien.

In some ways, the new film sounds like a sci-fi version of Hanks’ prior film, Cast Away, and in fact, it even shares one of the producers of the prior film.

In this case, however, Hanks’ character embarks on a road trip with his robot and canine companions to teach “Jeff” what life is all about.

As the trio embarks on a perilous journey into a desolate American West, Finch strives to show his creation, who names himself Jeff, the joy and wonder of what it means to be alive. Their road trip is paved with both challenges and humor, as it’s as difficult for Finch to goad Jeff and Goodyear to get along as it is for him to manage the dangers of the new world.

Finch Release Date

According to Apple’s announcement, the film will premiere on Apple TV+ on November 5, although there’s no word yet whether it will also make a simultaneous theatrical debut.

Since the film is expected to be a contender for the Oscars, it would normally need to open in theatres to qualify under Academy Award rules. For obvious reasons, however, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences relaxed that requirement while all the theatres were closed last year, and it’s extended that for the 2022 Academy Awards — in fact, there’s even talk that the new policy could become permanent.

In fact, this is how Greyhound managed to qualify for this year’s Academy Awards. While it didn’t take any wins, it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Sound, alongside Mank, News of the World, Disney’s Soul, and the ultimate winner, the Amazon Original Sound of Metal. That said, Greyhound did take away an award for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing from the Motion Picture Sound Editors.

Tom Hanks and Apple

Apple scored the rights to Finch earlier this year in a bidding war among multiple streaming providers. Much like Greyhound, it was originally slated to debut in theatres, in this case under Universal Pictures.

While it’s unclear how much money was exchanged in the deal, it’s also likely that it wasn’t entirely about money, as Hanks almost certainly would have had some say in the matter. As heartbroken as Hanks was that Greyhound wasn’t released in theatres, there’s every indication that he’s more comfortable working with Apple than any of the other big streaming providers.

This is likely even more true following Greyhound’s success, of course, but the two already had a cozy relationship before that deal was even on the table. Back in 2019, Hanks signed on with Apple alongside Steven Spielberg to produce Masters of the Air — the third instalment in the hit HBO World War II Miniseries’ Band of Brothers and The Pacific, and the first series that will be produced in Apple’s own studio.

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