200302 The Banker National Civil Rights Museum PhotoSource: Eric Charbonneau

What you need to know

  • Apple has finally premiered its next Apple TV+ film The Banker in Tennessee.
  • The film has been marred by controversy surrounding allegations of abuse within the family of the main character Bernard Garrett.
  • The film stars Samuel L. Jackson.

Apple has finally premiered its latest Apple TV+ film The Banker at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.

In a press release Apple stated:

Award-winning stars Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie and Nia Long attend premiere event ahead of March 6 theatrical release and March 20 debut on Apple TV+

At a special event held at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, Apple premiered its upcoming original film, "The Banker." Inspired by true events, "The Banker" centers on revolutionary businessmen Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson), who devise an audacious and risky plan to take on the racist establishment of the 1960s by helping other African Americans pursue the American dream. Along with Garrett's wife Eunice (Nia Long), they train a working class white man, Matt Steiner (Nicholas Hoult), to pose as the rich and privileged face of their burgeoning real estate and banking empire – while Garrett and Morris pose as a janitor and a chauffeur. Their success ultimately draws the attention of the federal government, which threatens everything they have built.

The film is due to premiere on March 6 in selected theaters, and will be available to Apple TV+ subscribers in 100 countries on March 20.

Apple tactfully declined to mention the reason for the film's lengthy delay in coming to the big screen. Apple was forced to cancel the film's original premiere back in November, citing "some concerns around the film" that had been brought to Apple's attention. It transpired that the son of the main character Bernard Garrett, Bernard Garrett Jr was alleged to have sexually molested his two-half sisters, Cynthia and Sheila Garrett. It was also claimed that the timeline of the film has been tweaked to leave both the girls and their mother out of the story. Claims of a distorted timeline led to both former wives of Bernard Garret Sr calling for the film not to be release..

In response to those allegations the filmmakers issued a statement saying:

"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 will be released in select theaters on March 6, and will debut on Apple TV+ on March 20.

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