Deadline reports that Netflix has acquired the distribution rights to the Brad Pitt-starring war satire War Machine. (Not to be confused with Special Correspondents, Rick Gervais’ satirical war comedy, which was also recently acquired by Netflix.) Directed by David Michôd, War Machine (née The Operators) was inspired by the book The Operators: The Wild And Terrifying Inside Story Of America’s War In Afghanistan, written by the late journalist Michael Hastings. Pitt stars as a character patterned after General Stanley McChrystal in the film.
This is a huge power move for Netflix, and marks the biggest investment the streaming service has made in a feature film to date at around $30 million. It’s also the first time Netflix has landed such a huge movie star—War Machine could have easily found a home at any studio with Pitt in a leading role.
But because of the subject matter, the movie may have struggled to land a wide theatrical audience, leading Pitt and his producing team, which includes Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, who previously worked with Pitt on 12 Years A Slave, to experiment with the increasingly enticing Netflix model. This only confirms our fears that Netflix is taking over the world, and now they have someone as powerful as Pitt on their side.
“War Machine is a rip-roaring, behind-the-facade tale of modern war decision-makers, from the corridors of power to the distant regions of America’s ambitions,” said Ted Sarandos, the chief content officer of Netflix. “Brad and David are a perfect team to make this timely, compelling and entertaining film.” “We are so excited to be a part of the inspiring commitment by Netflix to produce cutting-edge content and to deliver it to a global audience,” Pitt adds.
Deadline also reports that Netflix will heavily market the movie to protect their investment. That could mean some of those pre-video ads for other Netflix content that has subscribers completely losing their chill.