Netflix’s main focus is always going to be on original content, but crafting high profile exclusives doesn’t come cheap. Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot’s Red Notice hasn’t even been released yet, but it’s already been usurped as the streaming service’s most expensive in-house production ever by Joe and Anthony Russo’s The Gray Man, with cameras set to start rolling imminently on the $200 million espionage blockbuster.
The company can’t spend that sort of money on all of its biggest titles, of course, but Netflix aren’t averse to acquiring pre-existing content, either. Having recently shelled out $18 million to secure the domestic distribution rights for Liam Neeson’s next action effort The Ice Road, the platform has now dropped a massive $55 million on Christian Bale’s upcoming horror thriller The Pale Blue Eye.
The project will reunite Christopher Nolan’s Batman with filmmaker Scott Cooper for a third time, after they previously worked together on crime drama Out of the Furnace and gritty Western Hostiles. The plot follows Bale’s veteran detective as he investigates a series of murders that occurred at the U.S. Military’s West Point Academy in 1830, where he’s accompanied by an inquisitive cadet and would-be poet who just so happens to be Edgar Allen Poe.
Based on the 2003 novel by Louis Bayard, on paper it doesn’t sound like the sort of project that would necessitate Netflix stumping up that kind of money to acquire it, but it seems like an interesting premise nonetheless. Christian Bale headlining a murder mystery horror thriller opposite a young Edgar Allen Poe carries no shortage of potential, and the next step for The Pale Blue Eye is rounding out the cast and crew before settling on a start date for production.