In a completely unexpected move, Paramount Pictures & Skydance Productions are in negotiations with Netflix that will see the streaming giant serve as international distributor to “Ex Machina” helmer Alex Garland’s new sci-fi thriller “Annihilation”.
Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Tessa Thompson, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Gina Rodriguez star in the film based on Jeff VanderMeer’s bestselling Southern Reach Trilogy. After the husband (Isaac) of a biologist (Portman) turns up missing, she volunteers for a secret expedition into alien territory – a cordoned-off forest where the laws of physics don’t apply.
Paramount will release the film theatrically in the U.S., Canada and China, but the deal will see the streaming service release the film on its platform everywhere else approximately 17 days after it premieres in the United States on February 23rd.
The deal is similar to one Netflix made recently with New Line on its sequel to “Shaft” starring Samuel L. Jackson and Jessie T. Usher, with the streamer paying for more than half that film’s $30 million budget.
Garland’s “Ex Machina” grossed $25.4 million domestically and $11.4 million internationally, and with this being seen as similar in tone with the bulk of its theatrical gross to come from the domestic run, this and the new “Shaft” will be part of a new model for films that prove a challenging sell on the international front.