Bored Apes Go Hollywood With Coinbase-Produced Movie Trilogy

The trio of films will tie into the launch of Coinbase’s long-awaited NFT marketplace.

AccessTimeIconApr 11, 2022 at 6:40 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:03 p.m. UTC
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The Bored Ape Yacht Club is getting its own film trilogy, with crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) behind the camera.

The films are just the latest boost in what has been a stellar six weeks for a project many now see as the face of the non-fungible token (NFT) sector. That includes the launch of the ApeCoin (APE) token on March 18 and the acquisition of rival blue-chip project CryptoPunks by BAYC's parent company, Yuga Labs, the week prior.

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  • The first of three installments for the series of animated short films, titled “The Degen Trilogy,” will premiere at NFT.NYC in June, with the NFT community of apes and non-apes alike having a say in parts of the film’s plot.

    Bored Ape owners are invited to submit their apes for consideration as characters in the trilogy, along with made-up character descriptions that will be reviewed by an actual Hollywood casting director.

    More surprising than the fact that these films will exist may be the company making them. Coinbase is testing out its new media arm for the films’ production, led by entertainment and culture marketing director William Swann, brought over by the company from the traditional entertainment world.

    “You can think of this as a love letter to the NFT tech that has provided so much creative liberation for artists,” Swann told CoinDesk in an interview. “We really look to [Bored Apes] as sort of our North Star in the NFT space. They've created such a massive and engaging community.”

    After their release, the films will be “wallet-gated” on the Coinbase website, with users having to create a Coinbase wallet before being able to view them. The series will also tie into Coinbase’s long-awaited NFT marketplace, which will be released “very very soon,” according to Swann.

    I want my NFT TV

    Bored Apes aren’t the only NFTs set to make an appearance on the big screen. Swann said Mutant Apes, another Yuga Labs-owned project, will be receiving the same treatment, along with other popular projects yet to be named.

    While Yuga Labs isn’t directly involved with the film’s production, “their eyes and approval will be on it,” Swann said.

    Yuga Labs CEO Nicole Muniz told CoinDesk in a statement:

    “We’re seeing how NFTs are evolving to be vehicles of access and participation in networks, games, merchandise and now interactive entertainment. This is a breakthrough project and we’re excited to see how this shapes the future of Web 3 for all communities.”

    “The Degen Trilogy” will not be the first time the buzzy ape imagery has been used off-chain, so to speak. Universal Music Group (UMG) is building a band around the Bored Ape NFT it purchased in March, and a Californian BAYC-themed restaurant opened on April 9, accepting ApeCoin as a form of payment.


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    Eli Tan

    Eli was a news reporter for CoinDesk. He holds ETH, SOL and AVAX.

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