EXCLUSIVE: Netflix is getting on the board in a big way here in the waning days of the Cannes market. It has closed a $10 million deal for Wheelman, the Jeremy Rush-directed action film that will star Frank Grillo. Sources say they are also in talks to pay around $13 million for Sandcastle, the Fernando Coimbra-directed drama that stars Henry Cavill, Nicholas Hoult, Tommy Flanagan, Neil Brown Jr, Glen Powell and Logan Marshall-Green. That deal is in the process, but I’m hearing that is how it is looking right now for the drama that was written by Chris Roessner, based on his experience as a machine gunner in the Iraq Sunni Triangle.
In Sandcastle, Hoult plays a soldier who comes to repair a broken water system. It becomes a powder keg as some villagers welcome the effort and others are suspicious. The soldiers guarding him try to keep the tensions from escalating into a full-scale life-and-death situation. Mark Gordon and Justin Nappi are producers.
Netflix in the meantime closed world on Wheelman. Grillo has been poised to get his own starring vehicle after showy turns in Captain America: Civil War, The Purge and the MMA series The Kingdom. He gets that chance in Wheelman, playing a getaway driver fighting for his life in a car full of cash after a bank robbery goes all wrong. At stake is his family as he tries to figure out who double-crossed him. Rush wrote the script. Producing is Joe Carnahan (Grillo starred in his film The Grey), along with Myles Nestel for The Solution Entertainment Group (which financed this) and Grillo, who’s making his producing debut. J. Todd Harris, Chady Mattar and Scott Silver are executive producing.
In the center of both deals is CAA, which has had a most prolific Cannes, on track to do over $50 million in deals brokered by the time this festival plays through. The agency is in play on several other films including The Leisure Seekers, Lost City Of Z (which just showed promo footage for the James Gray adaptation of the David Grann book that stars Charlie Hunnam and Rob Pattinson), Raw (the Julia Ducornau metaphorical coming-of-age thriller) and The Last Face, the Sean Penn-directed drama that stars Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem and plays at Cannes late in the week. It co-reps Sandcastle with UTA.
The Solution’s Nestel and co-founder and partner Lisa Wilson also worked on the Wheelman deal. Voltage is also brokering the Sandcastle deal. Stay tuned on the latter.