Netflix and Matt Reeves are planning to work through a Life Sentence together, as they close talks to nab the rights to a sought-after short story.
Written by Matthew Baker, the sci-fi tale is set in the future, where sending criminals to prison has been replaced by a new scheme that wipes their memories as punishment. The story follows one man, who finds himself attempting to reconcile his past actions and friendships.
It continues something of a hot streak for Baker, who has already sold the screen rights to two other short stories. The first, Transition, was acquired by Amazon Studios, with Noah Hawley producing and Joe Epstein adapting. His second, The Appearance, was snapped up by Makeready with The Picture Company producing.
His third, then, was all set to cause a similar splash, and Hollywood didn’t disappoint, with a large bidding war unfolding to bag Life Sentence.
Deadline reports that eight rivals were all competing for the rights, including Amazon, Warner Bros., Universal, MWM Studios, Fox 2000, Regency and Gaumont. Then, Apple upped that to nine.
It ultimately came down to Apple and Gaumont for a deal to turn the story into a TV series – pairing up Chris and Heather McQuarrie’s company with Michael De Luca Productions – or Netflix for a movie adaptation. Netflix emerged triumphant, with Baker opting for a feature film over a TV show.
Netflix’s movie will be developed by Matt Reeves as producer, under his 6th & Idaho banner. The Cloverfield director, who will next helm the new Batman movie, has seen his career grow successfully over the years, with two Planet of the Apes proving huge hits for Fox. Recently, he moved his deal there to Netflix, and Life Sentence will be part of that agreement.