Netflix paid a whopping $60 million for Brad Pitt’s movie based on the Michael Hastings book The Operators, says a report from The Hollywood Reporter. Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix, agreed to pay $60 million, says the report, which cites an insider who denied the reports which suggested a price of about half of that.
No official words on price paid
A source aware of the deal said, “It’s great for the specialty film business, since people might be more willing to see challenging, liberal-leaning material in the comfort of their own home [rather] than in a movie theatre,” adding that this way even more viewers could watch the movie.
Netflix spokesman Jonathan Friedland told THR that David Michod and Brad Pitt are popular for the fearlessness and exceptional intelligence of their work, and this will make War Machine a great gift for Netflix audiences across the world.
Netflix acquired the Pitt movie after laying low for quite a while, since it made its way into original films in 2014, starting with Adam Sandler’s four-picture deal. This year, the streaming company paid $17 million in Berlin to pre-buy the worldwide rights to Jadotville, an Irish war drama starring Jamie Dornan.
Netflix committed to quality content
The story revolves around the wild and terrifying story of America’s war in Afghanistan. Pitt will play the character of General Stanley A. McChrystal, the commander of U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan who was ordered to resign after taking a dig on Vice President Joe Biden and other Obama officials in Hastings’ 2010 Rolling Stone story.
Pitt and edgy Australian auteur David Michod wanted the movie to be a satirical comedy rather than a mainstream, dramatic biopic that would settle in the heart of the United States much like Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper did, according to the report. War Machine could be distasteful to a conservative audience.
The Netflix film is set up at New Regency and RatPac Entertainment, but promoters wanted Michod and producers to cut the proposed budget. However, the filmmakers were hesitant, putting the project up for sale, and as a result, Netflix stated on June 8 that it had bought War Machine. CAA, a representative for Pitt and Plan B, settled the deal with Netflix. Michod is represented by UTA.
Massive investments in movies like War Machine reflect the commitment of Netflix to films, similar to what it has made to TV, which helped it to expand its subscriber base to 62 million subscribers. The movie will be released in 2016 on Netflix and in select theaters.