Most of the original programming distributed by Netflix come in the form of series, documentaries, and specials. The executives of the video streaming service — now available in virtually every country worldwide — haven’t really focused on films despite its roots suggesting otherwise. Netflix was launched on the premise that you could buy or rent movies by mail without any late fees. When the actual streaming component of the service launched, the company signed deals that bolstered its catalog with shorter forms of content rather than feature films. Studios charge a fortune for films to be licensed out on premium television channels and streaming services like HBO and Netflix. So Netflix’s cheapest option is to keep picking up series and specials or produce content in-house for distribution.
Based on a reported by Deadline, Netflix is seemingly ready to start developing its own films. Netflix is said to be paying $90 million for Bright, a fantasy cop thriller starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton with Max Landis writing the script.
The company is said to have been locked in a two-week bidding war with competitors to fund Bright and distribute it globally. When it’s all said and done, Netflix’s total investment should be about $90 million, and $3 million of that will go to writer Max Landis.
PalmStar’s Kevin Frakes and a Warner Bros.-MGM duo, according to Deadline, were among the other parties vying for Landis’ script and the film. Any other winner in the bidding war probably would have executed a traditional theatrical release for Bright. There’s even the possibility that Netflix gives it a limited theatrical release, but subscribers are obviously going to be who the film is made for.
Bright does not have a release date at this time, but the film will begin shooting this fall in Los Angeles. David Ayer, director of the upcoming Suicide Squad film, will be heading this film.
To date, Netflix has released just four films: Beasts of No Nation, The Ridiculous 6, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, and Pee-wee’s Big Holiday. All of them were released within the last five months, with the latest Pee-wee Herman film premiering on Friday. More are coming in 2016 and beyond as Netflix wants to be a go-to place for at-home moviegoers with its exclusive films.