Netflix seals biggest deal of Sundance 2017 with Mudbound
VOD News | On 30, Jan 2017
Netflix has sealed the biggest deal of Sundance 2017 with the acquisition of Mudbound.
The indie film festival has become a favourite market for streaming services, with Amazon acquiring Manchester by the Sea last year, making it likely to become the first VOD provider to win an Oscar next month.
This year, Amazon returned to Utah in full force, notably inking a $12 million agreement for the rights to The Big Sick. Netflix, though, has gone one better. The streaming giant paid a whopping $12.5 million for the rights to Mudbound, starring Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jonathan Banks and Mary J. Blige.
The movie, which is helmed by Dee Rees – who premiered Pariah at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival – is set in the segregated, post-WWII South, where two families fight against the social hierarchy and the unrelenting landscape. Mulligan and Jason Clarke play the McAllans, a couple who have moved from Memphis to Mississippi with the dream of becoming farmers, while Blige and Rob Morgan play Hap and Florence Jackson, whose families have worked the land for generations, where every day is a losing venture. Hedlund and Jason Mitchell play two war veterans returning home from the conflict.
Adapted by Virgil Williams and Dee Rees from the novel by Hillary Jordan, the drama premiered to a standing ovation on the first weekend of Sundance, although the project’s budget of over $10 million and unflinching violence meant that it took some time for the movie to find a buyer. Netflix’s $12.5 million has given the online firm the US rights for a theatrical and digital release, no doubt with an eye already on next year’s Oscars race. It also gives Netflix the subscription streaming rights to the movie in the UK, Italy, Canada, South Africa, Iceland, Asia and other territories.
It’s the latest in a long string of deals at Sundance for both Netflix and Amazon. To keep up-to-date with their acquisitions, click here.