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Tom Hanks on direct-to-digital film releases: It’s not bad, it’s just different

During a virtual press conference, Tom Hanks spoke about the digital release of his latest film Greyhound. The war drama will begin streaming on Apple TV+ from July 10.

Written by Sampada Sharma | New Delhi |
Updated: July 7, 2020 9:07:16 am
tom hanks Tom Hanks’ next Greyhound releases on Apple TV+. (Photo: AP)

After battling coronavirus, Tom Hanks is back to doing what he loves the most – talking about movies. The 63-year-old actor’s next film Greyhound is releasing exclusively on Apple TV+ on July 10, and in a virtual press conference, Hanks shared his views on the film releasing on a streaming platform instead of a cinema hall.

Hanks acknowledged that they were all “heartbroken that this movie is not playing in cinemas.” He said that the team had realised that they would have surely had to wait for long for the right opening as there would be a “huge glut of movies” after cinemas reopened.

The Forrest Gump actor shared that as per their theatrical schedule, Greyhound was supposed to release one week after Wonder Woman 1984 and one week before Top Gun Maverick, which would have been a tough spot for any movie. He said that amid all these franchise movies, they would have probably been “the runt of the litter.”

Tom Hanks then proceeded to share that releasing Greyhound during COVID-19 felt timely. Hanks drew some parallels between his character’s situation in the film and the current global crisis. He said, “This is Ernie Kraus, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean wondering how he is going to survive and do his job. We are all in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, which ends up being like five times bigger than we anticipated it being and we don’t know when, how, if, we’re going to get out of it and who’s going to join us on the other side with that dropped in our laps by either Providence or a or an indifferent universe.”

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Hanks credited Apple TV “as a saviour” in this time of crisis. He mentioned that it’s a great advantage for them that the whole world can see Greyhound at the same time.

Tom Hanks agreed that the experience of watching Greyhound in theatre vs on a small screen is going to be vastly different. “It’s going to look different on your Apple TVs. It’s going to have a different physical quality to the brightness and to the appearance of the mood. It’s going to have a different sound than it would have if you were hearing it in a cinema. You can accept that because that’s the reality of what your eyeball is seeing and what your brain takes. The heartbreak is that those 800 people don’t get to go into a theater as strangers, watch Greyhound, come out 88 minutes later with something in common. There’s no substitute. There’s no grander alternative than that because that’s why we are all here,” he said.

Also Read | Tom Hanks explains how Greyhound is actually an animated movie

“We all love going to the movies. We all love talking about the movies. A new reality is that everybody on planet Earth has options now as to how they pay to be entertained by the stories of their choice. And that’s where we are now. So it’s not bad, it’s just different. It is disappointing because this movie looks fantastic on a huge screen, mixed the way it is, and posted the way we had it. But it’s still going to be a 100% physiological experience,” Hanks concluded.

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