Vancouver Island TV fans may have recognized some familiar locations during the Apple TV plus announcement, part of Apple’s press event Tuesday.
Apple TV Plus is launching in Canada on Nov. 1 with a selection of celebrity-stacked TV shows, movies and documentaries, kicking off what’s expected to be a heated battle for subscribers.
The service costs $5.99 per month, making it not only the cheapest of the existing major streaming platforms, but priced lower than fellow newcomer Disney Plus, which is scheduled to launch slightly over a week later on Nov. 12.
One of the first titles available on the platform will be “See,” a futuristic TV series starring Game of Thrones and Aquaman star Jason Momoa, along with Alfre Woodard. In the series, which is set in a dystopian future, the human race has lost the sense of sight, and society has had to find new ways to interact, build, hunt, and to survive. All of that is challenged when a set of twins with sight is born.
It’s directed by Frances Lawrence, known for three of the four films in the Hunger Games film series and the spy thriller Red Sparrow.
Part of the series was filmed in Campbell River and Strathcona Provincial Park on Vancouver Island.
INfilm, which provides liaison and location scouting services to productions interested in filming on mid/north Vancouver Island, shared the trailer and said both locations “look stunning.”
"#SEE" what's coming on November 1st!
The official trailer is out and our #CampbellRiver & Strathcona Provincial Park locations look stunning! #FilmVancouverIsland #BCFilm #BCCreates https://t.co/wlyuQpIoBB
— INfilm (@INfilm) September 10, 2019
Access to Apple TV Plus will be available through its Apple TV app on the company’s iPhone, iPod, Apple TV and iPod Touch devices. It’ll also be watchable on select Samsung smart TVs, with rollouts on Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and VIZIO at later dates, the company said.
While Apple’s arrival beats Disney to the market, it’ll face a considerable challenge against the house of Pixar, Marvel and Disney classics, which has a deep library of family-oriented programming on its side.
Disney also plans to dig into its many valuable franchises for projects that include a Lady and the Tramp remake and The Mandalorian, a TV series that expands on the Star Wars universe.
Apple TV Plus has a price advantage working in its favour, however, since it’ll be three dollars cheaper than Disney’s $8.99 monthly price tag in Canada.
There’s also an incentive for Apple customers to buy more products from the company. Anyone who purchases a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac will receive one year of Apple TV Plus for free, the company said.
Other streaming platforms have spent years preparing for the inevitable entry of Apple and Disney into the streaming marketplace.
Netflix inked huge deals with some of Hollywood’s biggest TV producers, including “American Horror Story” co-creator Ryan Murphy and “Grey’s Anatomy” scribe Shonda Rhimes, who are now making programs for the company.
And Bell Media’s Crave has an agreement with HBO to carry most of its high-profile new programs, which include the debut of hyped comic book series “The Watchmen,” Helen Mirren in “Catherine the Great” and the return of favourites such as “Westworld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
Other big-budget projects are lined up at Amazon Prime Video and CBC Gem, which has acquired the rights to popular international TV series and some of Hulu’s critically acclaimed programs.
With files from The Canadian Press