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Netflix Pays $100M for Original Flick

The Will Smith comeback is in full swing. After the pitiful, career-stumping and universally criticised M Night Shyamalan After Earth with his loony spawn Jaden everything seemed over for The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. After a cameo in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues he spearheaded the better-than-expected con drama Focus with Australia’s Margot Robbie.

The pair are set to unite again in Suicide Squad later in the year, which will certainly nab a sequel. He’s the most established name on a list of the best up and coming talent in the business that includes Robbie, Cara Delevinge and Jared Leto. And things got Oscar-y last Christmas with Concussion. In two years Smith has slipped into his old niche of balancing super-serious with super-trendy.

It seems the Suicide Squad shoot went very well for Smith, despite stating he’d never spoken to method actor Jared Leto outside of the camera rolling. Things went better with director David Ayer and the pair have struck a deal for feature science fiction Bright.

Ayer’s previous work includes World War II drama Fury and Jake Gyllenhall drama End of Watch, so a sidestep to sci-fi could be interesting. It’s written by Chronicle writer Max Landis and will likely land before Suicide Squad 2.

Negotiations have been underway for distribution and it’s Netflix that has the lead, oddly enough. Everyone knows they made their mark with original television programming and in recent years their focussed their efforts on original features. This includes the commercially-lucrative (but not critically-lucrative) four-picture Adam Sandler deal and the fantastic Idris Elba vehicle Beasts of No Nation. A film like Bright certainly adds to the world-class quality Netflix is known for.

How much would Netflix pay for such a flick? It’s right there in the title. One hundred million dollars, pending finalisation as this article goes to publish. Wow.

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