Cannes has only been going for a couple of days and Netflix is already making its presence felt with a deal to nab the rights to Bubbles.
The stop-motion film about Michael Jackson’s pet chimp is one of the buzziest titles to hit the Croisette this week – not as a fully-fledged premiere, but in the marketplace where Netflix and other streaming services have become forced to be reckoned with.
Co-directed by Taika Waititi and Fantastic Mr. Fox’s Mark Gustafson, the animation chronicles the life of the iconic singer, but from the perspective of his infamous pet chimp. The project stems from a spec screenplay by Isaac Adamson, which topped the Black List of introduced scripts in 2015. With the Thor Ragnarok director now attached, the offbeat project has only become even more appealing.
Deadline pegs the deal at around $20 million, after a heavy round of bidding for the rights, with Andrew Kortschak and Walter Kortshak of End Cue and Dan Harmon’s Starburns Industries on producing duties, with Adamson and Lee Stobby as exec producers.
The deal was brokered by CAA and marks the first major sale of the fortnight. It follows a Sundance where Netflix and Amazon dominated trade activity, snapping up the rights to such titles as Mudbound, Icarus and The Incredible Jessica James. With Netflix premiering its first ever competition entries at Cannes this weekend – Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories – it looks like the streaming service is only just getting started.