EXCLUSIVE: In a $30 million deal, Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to The Guilty, with Jake Gyllenhaal starring and Antoine Fuqua directing a dramatic thriller based on the Gustav Möller-directed Danish drama Den Skyldige that premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Deadline revealed a week ago that the package was being brought to the marketplace by Endeavor Content with a script by True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto.
Netflix moved quickly. The streamer has been very aggressive in recent weeks, acquiring the Halle Berry-directed Bruised for $20 million just before it screened as a work in progress at the Toronto Film Festival; Pieces of a Woman for $10 million, and the Sam Levinson-directed Zendaya-John David Washington starrer Malcolm & Marie for $30 million, all out of the TIFF market. Netflix now bolsters its slate with The Guilty, a film expected to begin production before year’s end.
It takes place over the course of a single morning in a 911 dispatch call center. Call operator Joe Bayler (Gyllenhaal) tries to save a caller in grave danger—but he soon discovers that nothing is as it seems, and facing the truth is the only way out.
Bold Films is financing with Amet Entertainment.
The film will be produced by Gyllenhaal and his Nine Stories partner Riva Marker, along with Fuqua and Kat Samick through his Fuqua Films, Scott Greenberg, Michel Litvak, Gary Michael Walters, David Litvak and Svetlana Metkina for Bold Films and Amet’s David Haring. Annie Marter, Möller and Lina Flint will be exec producers with Christian Mercuri and Jon Oakes.
Fuqua will make the film before jumping with Will Smith into the William College-scripted runaway slave drama Emancipation, which sold to Apple TV+ in a huge deal at Virtual Cannes. Gyllenhaal is coming off a turn as Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home, and he is an exec producer on Good Joe Bell, another Toronto film that stars Mark Wahlberg and was acquired by Solstice Studios after its TIFF premiere.
Gyllenhaal and Fuqua first teamed on the 2015 boxing drama Southpaw, a film memorable here at Deadline in that when we ran the first photograph of Gyllenhaal showing how ripped and in ring shape he got, it nearly crashed the site.
Said Gyllenhaal: “I couldn’t be more excited to work with Antoine again. Our time together on Southpaw was one of the great artistic experiences of my career, and I cannot wait to be back on set with him again. The Guilty is a special story, and one that we all feel very close to.”
Endeavor Content brokered the deal. Gyllenhaal is repped by WME and Goodman Genow’s Carlos Goodman; Pizzolatto is with and Anonymous Content, and Fuqua is with LBI Entertainment and Ziffren Brittenham’s Matt Johnson and Brian Lazarus.
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