The Rock & Ryan Reynolds' New Heist Movie May Be Netflix's Most Expensive Endeavour Ever
At 47-years, you’d expect things to be slowing down for Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. But by some feat of genetic engineering and sheer bravado, the actor only seems to be hitting his stride with greater force and pace. He’s become the go-to action star in Hollywood, and outside of that his unwavering motivation and dedication to bulging biceps and honing his physique has seen him become a poster-boy for any guy that’s ever used “#bulking” in a post.
Not surprisingly, Johnson commands a payday that Hollywood hasn’t seen for quite some time. Julia Roberts made headlines as the highest paid actress of the ‘90s with $25 million for her role in Mona Lisa Smile, but that pales in comparison to the $28 million Johnson fetches in his films.
And when it comes to his latest – a new heist movie titled Red Notice – he’s commanding a measly $31 million plus box-office profits.
Johnson, who will produce the film through his company Seven Bucks, will star alongside Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman). Johnson and Gadot have previously worked together in the Fast & Furious franchise, while Gadot and Reynolds teamed up for the 2016 thriller Criminal. As Johnson describes, the three will play “the greatest and most sophisticated art thieves the world has ever known.”
Netflix’s bidding war
Initially, Red Notice came under development with Universal, with a proposed 2020 release schedule. But thanks to a brutal bidding war that finished with a $187.7 million-budgeted action comedy, Netflix secured the film as its own. The deal included $31.7 million for Johnson, and an eight-figure payday for director Rawson Marshall Thurber.
It makes sense then that Johnson has described the film as a “global event”. According to reports from Deadline, the movie will mark Netflix’s “biggest commitment to feature film” ever, with shooting expected to take place in a number of international locations.
Speaking about the contribution of Netflix to the project (which can’t be underestimated), Johnson said, “I admire the ambition of Netflix to become one of the biggest movie studios in the world. Their original content generates critical acclaim and invites full collaboration on every level of production. Their unbridled enthusiasm for Red Notice is equally matched by their commitment to entertaining audiences on an international scale. As the landscape of movies, distribution and audience consumption continues to evolve, our Seven Bucks focus is to continue to find the best platform and partners to thrive in this ever changing environment.”
Not one to hide his excitement for a project, Johnson went on to add, “Director/writer Rawson Thurber has delivered a dynamic script that me and my co-stars and partners-in-heist, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds, can’t wait to shoot.”
The news of Netflix securing the movie from Universal reignites the debate of streaming platforms and their impact on Hollywood. Notable directors including Steven Spielberg have spoken out against the platform, believing that Netflix films shouldn’t be considered for an Oscar. But with Red Notice already touted to be one of the bigger theatrical flicks of 2020, news that it’s heading straight to Netflix will prove unwelcome to many.
The $31 million that Johnson acquired for his part in Red Notice was broken down by The Wall Street Journal as the following: $21 million base pay and $1 million for “social media support” towards the film.
And when it comes to any profits made on the film, Johnson will also pocket 30 per cent, with director Thurber receiving just 10 per cent. It’s also noted that for each $25 million worldwide box office earned after the movie grosses 2.5 times its budget, Johnson and other producers will pocket $1 million each.
Such an excessive pay package hasn’t been seen since the days where Will Smith, George Clooney and Julia Roberts dominated the industry, commanding audiences and pocketing some serious coin in the process. But with effect-heavy projects and action blockbusters continuing to dominate in the industry, it shouldn’t be such a shock that the man behind most of them is getting his fair share of the loot.
Production on Red Notice is due to begin in January 2020, but The Rock will certainly be on our screens before then.