UPDATE 03.18.16 The Max Landis spec BRIGHT, which has been burning up the market for weeks, has been part of a very lengthy bidding war between studios. But as the dust settles, reports say that Netflix has come out on top.
Final negotiations are being made, but Netflix beat out the likes of Sony and Warner Bros. for the David Ayer-directed feature starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton, and we’re now hearing that the studio won by committing at least $90 million to the tentpole. That price point includes over $3 million for the script alone – one of the largest spec sales in years – $45 million for the production budget, and the rest going to talent fees for the likes of Smith, Edgerton, and Ayer.
This is yet another example of Silicon Valley’s increasing influence on Hollywood, disrupting the status quo with excess capital that allows for these sorts of bids – bids with which traditional studios struggle to compete. It’s a significant win for the streaming giant, too, as it marks a different kind of entry into Netflix’s development slate, namely a big-budget feature with an A-lister like Smith and commercial elements as opposed to their previous feature releases like Beasts of No Nation. Netflix supposedly beat out bids from Warner Bros, MGM and PalmStar – the latter of which was rumored to be north of $4 million for the spec alone.
The story is being kept under wraps but the movie is being pitched as a contemporary cop thriller with fantastical elements. It is said to echo Ayer’s End of Watch but in a world of fairies and Orcs living among present day humans.
Ayer wrote and directed the comic book movie Suicide Squad which is slated for an August 5 release date. He is repped by CAA.
Smith stars in the aforementioned Suicide Squad and can also be seen in the forthcoming Collateral Beauty with Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Edward Norton, and Helen Mirren. He was recently nominated for a Golden Globe his role in Concussion. He is repped by CAA.
Edgerton can be seen next in Jeff Nichols’s Midnight Special with Michael Shannon. He will also star in the civil rights drama, Loving, also directed by Nichols. Last year, he starred opposite Johnny Depp in Black Mass and wrote and directed the sleeper hit, The Gift. He is repped by CAA, Shanahan Management, and Markham, Forggatt and Irwin.
Dino-Ray Ramos | Staff Writer