Netflix has acquired the rights to Malcolm & Marie, the Sam Levinson-directed romantic drama starring Zendaya and John David Washington that was secretly filmed during quarantine.
The deal is rumored to be valued at $30 million.
Zendaya got the ball rolling on Malcolm & Marie after receiving word that production on Euphoria had to be shut down due to COVID-19. The actress asked Levinson, showrunner on the HBO series, if he would be interested in writing and directing a film with her during the pandemic.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Malcolm & Marie tells the story of a filmmaker, played by Washington, returning home with his girlfriend (Zendaya) from a movie premiere. Revelations about their relationships take up the rest of the night, and ultimately test the strength of their bond. The movie was shot on 35mm in black and white.
In July, Zendaya shared a set photo of herself and Washington, along with the film’s title.
Soon after, news surfaced about how filming took place from June 17 to July 2 at the spectacular environmentally-conscious residence known as the Caterpillar House where extensive COVID-19 safety protocols were practiced, with the approvals of the WGA, DGA, and SAG-AFTRA.
The cast and crew promised to give some of the proceeds made from this Netflix deal to Feeding America. This sale will be especially beneficial for the crew members who banked on making money off the back end.
Malcolm & Marie is just the latest acquisition for Netflix, which has been on a spending spree recently. On Saturday, the streaming service purchased Pieces of a Woman, starring Shia LaBeouf and Vanessa Kirby, who won the Best Actress prize at Venice. Netflix also shelled out a reported $20 million for Halle Berry’s directorial debut in the MMA drama Bruised.
Is this a $30 million film? We’re not sure. However, sounds like the perfect film for Netflix.