Netflix Acquires Brad Pitt Comedy ‘War Machine’
Don’t worry, they didn’t replace Don Cheadle with Brad Pitt.
Despite the title (and Netflix’s extensive lineup of Marvel TV shows), War Machine does not have a connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s a new comedy starring Brad Pitt, and rather than going to a big Hollywood studio, it belongs to Netflix, who’ve acquired the rights to the movie. Via Deadline, here’s what War Machine is about:
The character is patterned after Gen. Stanley McChrystal, for a time the commanding general of international and U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The film is a satirical comedy inspired by the bestselling book The Operators: The Wild And Terrifying Inside Story Of America’s War In Afghanistan, by the late journalist Michael Hastings. Script was written by [David] Michod, whose credits include Animal Kingdom and The Rover.
Michod will also direct the movie. So you’ve got one of the coolest indie directors on the planet and one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, and a movie owned by Netflix. Deadline calls it a “game changer” for the streaming service, and it absolutely could be. Though Netflix’s focused more on television series with its original programming (like those aforementioned Marvel shows), and generally acquired more documentaries than fiction features to date, they recently signed Adam Sandler to make four movies, and they’ve also got a sequel to the martial-arts film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon coming later this summer. This is just the beginning of this movement.
Netflix will spend a reported $30 million on War Machine, their largest feature budget to date. Deadline says the film will get “a qualifying theatrical run” (so it’s eligible for any and all awards) and then “a big Netflix worldwide bow late in 2016.” It’s another discouraging sign for the theatrical experience, and a major development for the streaming service, which is turning into a bit of a war machine on its competitors.