The film is slated to go into production in April, shooting in Ireland and South Africa. The project was brought to the European Film Market at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival by Alex Walton’s Bloom; the deal with Netflix was negotiated by UTA Independent Film Group.
Netflix acquired all rights to “Jadotville” and will debut the film on its Internet subscription VOD services. In addition, the company may also release the film theatrically for a qualifying run.
“Jadotville” tells the true story of the 1961 siege of a 150-member Irish U.N. battalion under Commander Patrick Quinlan (Dornan) by 3,000 Congolese troops, led by French and Belgian mercenaries working for mining companies. Film also stars Guillaume Canet (“Tell No One”) as the French commander who sought to defeat Quinlan and his men.
Netflix announced the pact for the Dornan-toplined film after erotic drama “Fifty Shades” pulled down a record $94.4 million over the four-day Presidents’ Day weekend at the U.S. box office. Dornan is repped by UTA and United Agents.
“Jadotville” is directed by Richie Smyth, a commercial and musicvideo director (U2, Bon Jovi, the Verve) and written by Kevin Brodbin (“Constantine”). Alan Moloney will produce for Parallel Films (“Haywire,” “Albert Nobbs,” “Byzantium”).
“The story of how Pat Quinlan led his troops against an overwhelming force without losing a single man is one of the great stories of the 20th century, and we are proud to be working with such a talented and committed team to bring it to life,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said. “This film will be an amazing addition to our global original films initiative.”
Added Moloney, “As filmmakers, we are constantly looking for new ways to bring a movie to the largest possible audience. Netflix has already reinvented the TV market and is now moving front and center into the film business.”
Netflix’s other movie projects include a deal with Adam Sandler for four films and an agreement with Weinstein Co. and Imax to debut the sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” simultaneously in theaters and on Netflix in August 2015. In addition, Netflix last month reached a deal with indie filmmakers and thesps Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass to produce four movies, which will have a brief theatrical release before becoming available exclusively on Netflix.