Amazon has snapped up the US rights to Leos Carax’s new film, Annette.
The movie, which stars Adam Driver, is the first English-language project from the cult French filmmaker. It follows a widowed stand-up comic and his toddler daughter.
Deadline reports that Rihanna may have a small role, and that the Sparks will provide original songs for the soundtrack. While the film also boasts Kylo Ren in the lead role, though, the movie is far from a mainstream hit – and that decision is as revealing as anything about Amazon’s acquisition.
The streaming service, which went global last year in 200 odd territories, may only have the US and Canadian rights to the feature, but it’s a marked contrast from the kind of projects that Netflix is acquiring: with Scott Studer recently hired by the online giant to head up its feature film arm, lining up projects such as Bright, starring Will Smith, and War Machine, starring Brad Pitt, Amazon has Ted Hope leading a concerted push into more indie waters. Carax, whose CV includes Holy Motors, Mister Lonely (as an actor) and Boy Meets Girl, slots right into that approach of smaller titles making big splashes – a strategy that saw Amazon debut The Neon Girl, Paterson and Cafe Society at Cannes last year. This year, meanwhile, Amazon bagged two Oscars for its Sundance acquisition Manchester by the Sea, with Kenneth Lonergan winning Best Original Screenplay and Casey Affleck winning Best Actor.
Annette is produced by Arena Films’s Bruno Pesery and Switzerland’s Vega, with Japan’s Eurospace and Belgium’s Wrong Men co-producing.