Bored Ape Yacht Club goes Hollywood

The world’s most lucrative NFT project is now taking on Hollywood as owners race to make their Apes stars of movies, books, albums, and shows. 

BAYC, also known as Bored Ape Yacht Club, is getting its own film trilogy, with crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) behind the camera. 

BAYC has been on a consistent upward trend as their presence took the NFT and crypto community by a storm and these films are just the latest in a string of positive developments for a project that is seen as the face of the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) sector. 

This includes the debut of the ApeCoin (APE) token on March 18 and the week previous, BAYC’s parent firm, Yuga Labs, acquired competitor blue-chip project CryptoPunks. The first of three chapters of the “Degen Trilogy” series of animated short films will premiere in June at NFT.NYC, with the NFT community of apes and non-apes alike having a voice in the narrative.

Ape owners are welcome to submit their apes for consideration as roles in the trilogy, along with fictitious character descriptions that will be vetted by a real Hollywood casting director.

More surprising than the fact that these films will be made is the corporation that will produce them. Coinbase is putting its new media arm to the test for film production, which is overseen by entertainment and culture marketing director William Swann, whom the business hired from the traditional entertainment sector.

“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.”

Following their release, the videos will be “wallet-gated” on the Coinbase website, requiring visitors to create a Coinbase wallet before viewing them. According to Swann, the series will also integrate into Coinbase’s long-awaited NFT marketplace, which will be available “very very soon.”

Bored Ape Yacht Club aren’t the only NFTs scheduled to debut on the big screen. Swann stated that Mutant Apes, another Yuga Labs-owned project, as well as other popular projects yet to be disclosed, will be given the same treatment. While Yuga Labs isn’t actively engaged in the film’s creation, Swann says “their eyes and approval will be on it.”

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 buzzy ape picture will not be used for the first time in “The Degen Trilogy,” so to speak. Universal Music Group (UMG) is forming a band around the Bored Ape NFT, which it obtained in March, and a Californian BAYC-themed restaurant debuted on April 9 that accepts ApeCoin as payment.