Netflix has nearly single handedly been responsible for making television on the internet a respectable and competitive commodity. In just a few years, original internet programming has gone from a laughable idea to a major source of quality shows. Netflix (and now Amazon Prime and, to a lesser extent, Hulu, Yahoo, and I guess video game consoles have shows now?) has dominated the superhero genre, comedy, dramedy, and prestige drama.Sure, there’s been some shit thrown in too, but overall, it’s pretty remarkable what the company has accomplished in such a short time. And now, not satisfied to have simply changed the way the TV industry works, they’ve set their sights on transforming the film industry as well.
Of course, Netflix’s film production and distribution wing is nothing new (see: that horrible Adam Sandler shitshow in development), but they’ve taken things to a whole new level now with the acquisition of a new project starring none other than the goddamn king of Hollywood: Brad Pitt. According to Deadline, Netflix has picked up the rights to Pitt’s War Machine, which I’m going to assume is another Mad Max sequel, with Pitt playing the anthropomorphized titular character.
Or, for the more realistic (and WAY more boring, Netflix) version, it will be a “satirical comedy” about the “cocky glory” of Gen. Stanley McChrystal (played by Pitt), a former commanding general of international and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, based in part on Michael Hastings’s 2011 book, The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan. Again, original movies are not new to Netflix, but a movie like this, which is speculated to be in the $30 million range, is. And it seems impossible that this wouldn’t have wide-ranging implications for the film industry at large. Again, from Deadline,
[When] Netflix makes a deal like this… its model eliminates the possibility for overages because the priority is the streaming service. We’ve heard that Netflix will pay 130% of a film’s budget. In order to get this coup, it paid at least that much or more, but it potentially knocks down a wall that could give Netflix a real shot at movie-star-driven pictures that want one-stop shopping. Netflix will also heavily market the movie.Netflix: the Target of the entertainment industry.