“I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.” —Norma Desmond, Sunset Blvd.
In another big move for Netflix, the streaming company has acquired War Machine, a satirical comedy about the war in Afghanistan that will star Brad Pitt. David Michôd (Animal Kingdom) will direct the adaptation of Michael Hastings’ best-seller, The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan, the story of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the revered military officer who was fired from his top job after criticizing President Barack Obama in Hastings’ 2010 Rolling Stone article.
Pitt’s Plan B will produce along with Netflix and Ian Bryce (World War Z). Principal photography is scheduled to start in August.
Working with Pitt is a huge status escalator for Netflix, which has cultivated prestige television, like House of Cards, but has only recently made inroads into landing a true star-driven film that can compete with the kinds of celebrity-studded films that play in the multiplex. (In March, Netflix reportedly paid $12 million for Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba.) If successful, Beasts and War Machine have the potential to change the way Hollywood views Netflix and other Internet-based TV delivery options.