Netflix recently bought distribution rights for the upcoming satirical comedy comedy War Machine, which will star Brad Pitt as General Stanley McChrystal. The movie will start shooting in August and be directed by filmmaker David Michod, who has made films such as Animal Kingdom and Rover.
War Machine expects wider audience on Netflix
War Machine is inspired by the Michael Hastings book The Operators: The Wild And Terrifying Inside Story Of America’s War In Afghanistan. Hastings also wrote the controversial Rolling Stone article The Runaway General, which cited McChrystal as criticizing the White House and its operations in the war. In 2010, Hastings reportedly followed the general around Europe and Afghanistan for one month to gather information about him. After the article was published, McChrystal was sent back to Washington D.C. where he filed his resignation.
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Plan B, an entertainment company founded by Brad Pitt, obtained the rights for Hastings’ book last year. Initially, the content suggested a non-fiction film, but it was later altered to be fictionalized satire. Earlier, the movie was part of Deadline’s list of Cannes titles, however, Pitt and other Plan B members planned to work with Netflix on a different strategy. Though any studio or an independent distributor would want to release a movie starring Brad Pitt, these sorts of films often struggle to find a wider audience. Thus, Pitt and his colleagues decided to release the film on Netflix, where they believe many people will end up watching the movie.
Netflix ramping investment in films
The addition of War Machine to Netflix’s original titles marks the first time when the streaming service has acquired the distribution rights of a movie that features A-list movie stars. Moreover, this is the most expensive feature film investment for Netflix, which paid around $30 million for the movie.
Netflix has been making continuous efforts to enter the movie business, along with plans to bring a number of original movies on its platform. The streaming service signed deals with Weinstein & Co. for the sequel of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, a new Pee-wee Herman movie with Judd Apatow and a series of comedies featuring Adam Sandler.
Moreover, the streaming company entered into several other deals, which include a movie with Ricky Gervais, a documentary with Leonardo DiCapiro, and a four-picture contract with Mark and Jay Duplass. In addition, Netflix acquired Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation at the Sundance Film Festival and Richie Smyth’s Jadotville at the Berlin Film Festival.