Apple’s moved slowly building out its Apple TV+ streaming service since it launched last fall — even as its competitors in the streaming space have benefited from the rise in home viewing during the coronavirus pandemic. But in what could be a sign of competition to come, Apple’s made a big move into the film space, buying the rights to Sony’s Greyhound, a World War II drama written by and starring Tom Hanks that was scheduled to open in theaters on June 12, 2020.

Instead, the movie will go straight to Apple TV+, which not only marks a major acquisition for the streaming service but one of the biggest moves to abandon a planned theatrical release in favor of a move straight to streaming. With a reported budget of some $50 million, the film stars Hanks as Navy commander charged with defending a convoy during the Battle of the Atlantic. According to Deadline “the picture quietly was shopped in stealthy fashion, and it became a bidding battle between the big streamers,” with a deal “closed in the $70 million range, with the auction brokered by CAA Media Finance and FilmNation.”

Here’s the film’s most recent trailer from Sony:

Apple has yet to announce a release date on Apple TV+ for Greyhound. But will it move the needle for the streaming service? Apple clearly thinks it will.

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