Netflix Acquires ‘The Discovery,’ Starring Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, and Robert Redford
As a television company, Netflix has already established itself as one of the best and most important studios in the business. As a distributor of documentaries, they also have an impressive track record. But when it comes to feature films, Netflix still hasn’t quite put itself on the map. Yeah, Beasts of No Nation received good reviews last fall, and Pee-wee’s Big Holiday was a fairly entertaining trifle. But much of the rest of their feature film slate has been met with bad to oh-my-god-how-in-the-world-did-this-happen? reviews. Their Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel was delayed and then mostly ignored. Ricky Gervais’ Special Correspondents was nowhere near the heights of The Office co-creator’s TV work. And two movies in, Adam Sandler’s four-picture deal with Netflix seems like an experiment designed to test Netflix’s customers willingness to maintain their subscriptions.
Netflix does have some interesting original films in the pipeline, though. They include the new movie by David Michod, War Machine, which stars Brad Pitt, and Mascots, the latest mockumentary from Christopher Guest. To that list you can now add The Discovery, which, per Variety, the company has acquired for release in the near future. Here’s how they describe the sci-fi movie’s premise, which stars Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, and Robert Redford:
Directed by Charlie McDowell and written by McDowell and Justin Lader, the sci-fi love story is set in a world where the existence of an afterlife has been scientifically proven. Millions of people are now taking their own lives in the hopes that committing suicide is akin to pushing a reset button. Redford plays the man responsible for the discovery, Segel portrays his son and Mara is the woman Segel’s character falls in love with who’s haunted by a tragic past.
That definitely sounds a little smarter than The Do-Over and The Ridiculous Six. Just a smidge.
McDowell previously directed The One I Love, an interesting little sci-fi movie starring Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss about a couple on a vacation that takes a turn into the surreal. So the premise for The Discovery, which uses a science-fiction premise to explore a personal drama (and a love story), sounds right up his alley. This one could easily be the best fiction film Netflix’s made or released to date. It should premiere on the streaming service and in some theaters in 2017.