“Hidden Figures” Director Ted Melfi Sets Up Holiday Comedy at Netflix


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Hidden Figures writer-director has sold the dark, holiday comedy EL CAMINO CHRISTMAS to Netflix. Melfi wrote the script with Chris Wehner, and has lined up a solid cast for the ensemble.

The project follows a young man, in the fictitious town of El Camino, NV, who seeks out a father he has never met and, through no fault of his own, ends up barricaded in a liquor store with five other people on Christmas Eve.

Luke Grimes will play the lead role with Tim Allen, Vincent D’Onofrio, Dax Shepard, Kimberly Quinn, and Jimmy O. Yang filling out the cast.

The news comes after Netflix announced Hell or High Water‘s David Mackenzie is reuniting with Chris Pine and Ben Foster on the Outlaw King. Like Hidden Figures, Hell or High Water was a big awards contender for 2016, receiving for Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.

The streaming site has put a growing focus on feature in the last year or so, most notably with Bright from Max Landis and David Goyer with Will Smith starring. That film will debut this year after landing at Netflix with a $90 million budget after a heated bidding war. More recently they brought in Scott Stuber to run the film division, shortly followed by their nabbing War Party starring Tom Hardy and Justin Lin drama The Stand Off.

El Camino Christmas will be directed by Dave Talbert and produced by Melfi and Quinn through Goldenlight Films and Melfi’s commercial banner Brother. Richar Carter, Lyn Talbert, Dave Talbert, Uri Singer, and Jack Murray will executive produce.

Melfi is coming off a big year in 2016 with the hit period drama Hidden Figures, which he directed and co-wrote, and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress for Octavia Spencer. He previously wrote and directed the family dramedy St. Vincent which starred Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, and Naomi Watts, and penned the comedy Going in Style.

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