WarnerMedia announced a one-two punch of HBO Max news on Monday. The upcoming streaming service has acquired the worldwide rights to the Seth Rogen-led “An American Pickle” comedy feature and WarnerMedia also completed a distribution deal with Apple to make HBO Max available on Apple devices.
HBO Max’s “An American Pickle” pickup from Sony Pictures was done to ensure the film’s release will not be delayed due to the nation’s widespread and indefinite theater closures. Though WarnerMedia plans on releasing the film, based on a short 2013 story by Simon Rich, on HBO Max in 2020, a specific release date is undetermined.
Per WarnerMedia, “An American Pickle” stars Rogen as Herschel Greenbaum, a struggling laborer who immigrates to America in 1920 with dreams of building a better life for his beloved family. One day, while working at his factory job, he falls into a vat of pickles and is brined for 100 years. The brine preserves him perfectly and when he emerges in present day Brooklyn, he finds he hasn’t aged a day. But when he seeks out his family he is troubled to learn his only surviving relative is his great-grandson, Ben Greenbaum (also played by Rogen), a mild-mannered computer coder whom Herschel can’t even begin to understand.
Rich adapted and executive produced the film, which is directed by longtime Rogen cinematographer Brandon Trost (“This is the End,” “Neighbors,” “The Interview”). Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and James Weaver produced the film, while Alex McAtee and Ted Gidlow serve as additional executive producers. “An American Pickle” is one of HBO Max’s first original films; Ben Falcone’s “Superintelligence” is also expected to hit the platform sometime in 2020.
As for the Apple deal, the distribution news means HBO Max will be available on devices such as iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD when the streaming service launches on May 27. Customers with second and third generation Apple TV models can stream HBO Max content from their iPhone or iPad to their TV with AirPlay. Existing HBO Now customers who are billed through the App Store and HBO subscribers through Apple TV channels can log in and access the HBO Max app at no additional charge.