We may have crossed some sort of online streaming Rubicon, because Netflix just made a record-setting, massive investment in a big budget film.
Deadline is reporting that the service came out on top in the bidding for the new film Bright, a “cop thriller with fantastical elements and tent pole potential” written by Max Landis. The film will star Will Smith and Joel Edgerton, with Smith teaming back up with Suicide Squad director David Ayer. The report says the final price for the acquisition was $90 million, with $3 million going towards just the spec script (not bad!) and $45 million towards the actual cost of filming. That leaves a lot of millions for the cast. It is unclear at this time if it will have any kind of limited theatrical release
It was just last June that Netflix paid a reported $30 million for Brad Pitt‘s War Machine, but that’s nothing compared to this price. Bright is expected to carry an R-rating, but reportedly will be closer in style to Men In Black. Just like that series starring Will Smith, this could also be the launch of an entire franchise for Netflix.
Netflix also looks to have beaten out two other suitors, a combined bid from Warner Bros and MGM (who allegedly went as high as 50 million), and PalmStar’s Kevin Frakes (whose total commitment was reported at 60 million).
The film is expected to begin filming this fall in Los Angeles.
We have reached out to Netflix for comment but did not hear back at the time of publication. We will update the story when we do.
What’s your reaction to this news? Could this be the beginning of Netflix operating as its own major studio? Or will this investment blow up in their face? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
Image: Columbia Pictures