EXCLUSIVE: Netflix is closing a world rights deal between mid- to high-seven figures for The 40-Year-Old-Version, the crowd-pleasing directorial debut of Radha Blank, who also stars in the film, wrote the script and produced with Lena Waithe, Jordan Fudge, Inuka Bacote-Capiga, Jennifer Semler and Rishi Rajani. The film is competing in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival, and it premiered last Saturday at the Library Theatre.
Loosely inspired by events in Blank’s life, a once-promising playwright is barreling toward the stigma of being single and a struggling artist at the age of 40. Facing nonstop rejections from the theatre community while teaching a motley group of teens, she becomes creatively re-invigorated when she returns to rapping, her long-forgotten passion. When her play finally gets going, however, she puts recording a rap demo on the back burner and must navigate the awful tension of compromising her voice for career success.
Blank shot in black and white to reflect the passion of the movies she grew up watching with her parents, and she captures the plight of an artist faced with the decision of selling out or being true to herself. With New York City her backdrop.
Blank stars with Peter Y. Kim, Oswin Benjamin, Reed Birney, Imani Lewis and TJ Atoms.
While some other streamers have been making huge Sundance deals, Netflix has been spare, though it introduced 10 of its own pictures through Sundance.
Endeavor Content is brokering the deal.