From Screen Daily
The streaming giant has announced a major play that concluded in the final days of the EFM, flexing its mighty claws for all rights to one of the hottest packages in Berlin.
Netflix plans a multi-territory release in 2016 on Jadotville, the upcoming war thriller to star Jamie Dornan of Fifty Shades Of Grey and Guillaume Canet that Bloom introduced to international buyers at the recent market.
It is understood the release will incorporate a qualifying theatrical run for awards consideration. Netflix cut the deal with UTA Independent Film Group on behalf of the film-makers.
Commercials and video director Richie Smyth will direct from Kevin Brodbin’s screenplay and partners with producer Alan Moloney of Parallel Film.
Principal photography is set to begin in April on what Smyth and Moloney recently described to Screen in Berlin as an epic story of heroism that weaves together action, intrigue and geopolitics.
Dornan, riding high after the $266.4m global launch of Fifty Shades Of Grey over the weekend, will play Irish UN battalion commander Patrick Quinlan against the backdrop of an actual 1961 stand-off at a Congolese mine.
The soldier led 150 men in defiance of a 3,000-strong force of local troops and French and Belgian mercenaries. Canet will portray a French commander who sought to defeat Quinlan and his men.
The story received little publicity in Ireland until recently, when the heroics of Quinlan and his men finally earned recognition.
UTA and United represent Dornan.
Netflix acquired Jamie Dornan's Jadotville at the Berlin Film Festival, it was announced Monday.
The war thriller, co-starring Guillaume Canet will go into production in April and is set to premiere on the streaming service in 2016.
The film is based on the 1961 siege of an Irish UN battalion by 3,000 Congolese troops, led by French and Belgian mercenaries working for mining companies. Dornan will play the Irish commander Patrick Quinlan and Canet will play a French commander.
Jadotville will be directed by Richie Smyth and produced by Alan Moloney for Parallel Films. The screenplay was written by Kevin Brodbin.
Alex Walton's Bloom brought Jadotville to Berlin's European Film Market. The deal with Netflix was negotiated by UTA's Independent Film Group.
“The story of how Pat Quinlan led his troops against an overwhelming force without losing a single man is one of the great stories of the 20th century, and we are proud to be working with such a talented and committed team to bring it to life,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. “This film will be an amazing addition to our global original films initiative.”
Maloney added: “As filmmakers, we are constantly looking for new ways to bring a movie to the largest possible audience. Netflix has already reinvented the TV market and is now moving front and center into the film business. We are proud and excited to be part of their story and innovation."
Dornan is repped by UTA and U.K.-based United Agents. Canet is repped by CAA and France's UBBA. Brodbin is repped by CAA and Generate.
The acquisition is just the latest move into original, scripted films by Netflix. The streaming service, which has had success with original TV series like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, is now ramping up its narrative-film production and distribution business. Netflix recently announced plans to make a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which is set to hit Imax theaters and the streaming service on Aug. 28.