Last summer, the world learned of Red Notice, a proposed action film from Central Intelligence and Skyscraper collaborators Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Rawson Marshall Thurber. The pitched movie, which also stars Wonder Woman lead Gal Gadot, was such a sought-after title that, following an intense bidding war, Universe Pictures beat out the competition to help finance and distribute the film. One year later, however, the title is now in the hands of Netflix and has added Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds to the cast.
Yes, that’s right. What Deadline describes as Netflix’s “biggest commitment to a feature film” ever has left Universal and is now in the hands of the world’s biggest streaming platform. One of their official Twitter accounts confirmed the news with a post describing it as “an action-adventure film revolving around the pursuit of the world’s most wanted art thief.”
Not to be outdone on social media, of course, Johnson shared a few mockup promotional stills and some words on his Instagram. “The world is officially on NOTICE. Myself and my co-star partners-in-heist Gal Gadot & Ryan Reynolds invite you to join us for the Netflix global event movie known as RED NOTICE,” he wrote. “They’re the greatest and most sophisticated art thieves the world has ever known and have all the answers. Until I change the questions – because I’m really good at my job too.”
As for why Red Notice is now in the hands of Netflix instead of Universal Pictures, Deadline’s sources indicate that the studio had begun to balk at writer and director Thurber’s script and schedule:
After Thurber drafted his pitch into a screenplay with a budget, the filmmakers sensed hesitation from Universal in a meeting late last month, even though the studio had dated the picture for November 13, 2020, sources said. The original pitch deal had specific progress to production timeline clauses and when a window opened, Thurber’s finished script was shown to Netflix 10 days ago.
Either way, it sounds like Netflix has agreed to drop even more money than usual on this massive tentpole. As for precisely how this new acquisition will affect the media company’s ever-increasing debt load, which is quite significant, that remains to be seen.