Netflix on Thursday said it has acquired most worldwide rights to The Power of the Dog, the next movie from writer-director Jane Campion and which stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Elisabeth Moss. The movie, from See-Saw Films and based on Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel, was one of the buzz titles at the Cannes film market this month. A 2021 theatrical and streaming release is now in the works.
The plot centers on a pair of wealthy Montana brothers, Phil (Cumberbatch) and George Burbank, who are two sides of one coin. Phil is graceful, brilliant and cruel where George is stolid, fastidious and gentle. Together they are joint owners of the biggest ranch in the Montana valley. It is a place where men are still men, the rapidly modernizing 20th century is kept at bay and where the figure of Bronco Henry, the greatest cowboy Phil ever knew, is revered. When George secretly marries local widow Rose (Moss), a shocked and angry Phil wages a sadistic, relentless war to destroy her entirely using her effeminate son Peter as a pawn.
Producers are See-Saw’s Emile Sherman and Iain Canning, Max Films’ Roger Frappier, Big Shell’s Campion and Brightstar’s Tanya Seghatchian. BBC Films’ Rose Garnett, See-Saw COO Simon Gillis and Brightstar’s John Woodward are executive producing.
The deal struck with See-Saw’s in-house sales arm Cross City Films excludes UK free TV rights, which are retained by BBC Films, which helped develop the project and is backing production. Netflix will be the worldwide distributor, with Transmission Films releasing theatrically in Australia and New Zealand. Netflix said it will work with its other local partners on the theatrical release.
Gillis negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers and Cross City with attorney Craig Emanuel of Paul Hastings.
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