Netflix will pay more than $90 million for a new Will Smith film that it snagged after a two-week bidding war, according to Deadline.
The movie is a cop thriller called “Bright” that includes “fantastical elements.” Netflix will spend more than $45 million to shoot the film, the same for talent, plus $3 million for the script by Max Landis, Deadline reports.
This is Netflix’s biggest push yet into blockbuster films. This purchase significantly outstrips the $60 million Netflix paid for Brad Pitt’s “War Machine,” which has not yet been released. Netflix reportedly fought off multiple other bidders, including Warner Brothers and MGM, both of whom would have given the movie a wide theatrical release.
Netflix’s commitment to “day-and-date releases,” meaning that movies are available to stream on Netflix the same day they arrive in theaters, will likely limit how many screens show “Bright.” Theater giants like Regal have publicly denounced this release policy, and Netflix’s previous films have seen very limited theatrical releases.
“It’s going to be very, very difficult for Netflix to get the major theater chains to carry its movies,” FBR Capital Markets analyst Barton Crockett recently told The Los Angeles Times.
But Netflix derives its value from subscriptions, and securing a possible franchise blockbuster like “Bright,” along with a big name like Smith, could lure people onto the platform.
The film will shoot in the fall, with David Ayer attached as the director.