It might just be a sign of the times reinforcing an industry-wide shift, or it could be a worrying lack of confidence in the immediate future of the theatrical experience, but more and more mega budget movies are heading exclusively to streaming. Just a few days after Amazon swooped in to secure the distribution rights to Chris Pratt’s sci-fi action epic The Tomorrow War for a reported $200 million, Netflix have now picked up Gal Gadot’s spy thriller Heart of Stone.
The project was only announced last month, but the world’s biggest streaming service have already won the bidding war to fund what’s going to be another hugely expensive production. Gadot signed an eight-figure deal to star, and based on the fact that she’s pocketed roughly $20 million for both Wonder Woman 1984 and Red Notice, her salary for Heart of Stone will be in at least the same ballpark.
There was plenty of buzz surrounding the initial script by Academy Award nominated Hidden Figures writer Allison Schroeder and The Old Guard‘s Greg Rucka, with the concept being described as in the vein of James Bond and Mission: Impossible, which immediately signals that Netflix invested in the idea of franchise potential.
Production company Skydance Media already have plenty of history with the platform, of course, having collaborated on the action-packed 6 Underground and Rucka’s The Old Guard, as well as Ryan Reynolds’ upcoming time travel movie The Adam Project. Wild Rose and The Aeronauts director Tom Harper will helm Heart of Stone and it’s now become Netflix‘s second major espionage blockbuster in active development after the Russo brothers’ The Gray Man, which is also being designed as the launchpad for a multi-film series.