Back in August, Apple announced that it would invest a billion dollars in the production of original content — movies, shows, and anything else it could serve up on iTunes or Apple TV — over the next year. Now we’re getting a peek at what that might mean: The Wall Street Journal reports the company will soon be reviving Steven Spielberg’s science-fiction and horror anthology series Amazing Stories.
It’s maybe an odd choice — a not-widely-remembered ’80s TV show — but “odd” is also the way you might describe Apple’s foray into original content to begin with. The company is known for its ability to produce impeccably engineered, category-winning hardware: Its products come off the line after years of focus groups, beta-testing, and market research; and trendy features like Face ID are only adopted after Apple is sure it can perfect them. “Content,” writ broadly, is a very different game, one in which success is much harder to predict (or force), and failure is generally understood as a necessary price to pay.
But that’s why it helps to be Apple. Even with ten episodes of Amazing Stories currently in the works for approximately $5 million each, Apple Studios’ remaining budget for the year is still well over $900 million. Maybe Amazing Stories will be next year’s Stranger Things; maybe it’ll crash and burn. Either way, Apple will still have plenty of cash to spend.