“Mosul,” an action film that plunges viewers into the fight between a renegade police unit and the ISIS fighters who have destroyed their homes, has been purchased by Netflix.
The deal comes over a year after “Mosul” made its debut at the 2019 edition of the Venice Film Festival. That’s partly a testament to how tricky “Mosul” is as a commercial prospect (it’s subtitled, devoid of major movie stars and deals with a complicated political situation). It’s also because 101 Studios, the label operated by former Weinstein Company executive David Glasser, acquired the film with the intention of releasing it. Those plans fell through and, hence, the deal with Netflix.
“We know it’s unconventional,” Anthony Russo said in an interview with Variety shortly before the film screened at the 2019 Toronto Film Festival. “But we hope that the global cinema market is open to new ideas and excited by new ideas. Joe and I want to use the capital we’ve built up to help films like this find an audience.”
The New Yorker Studios, which previously was behind “The Old Man and the Gun,” produced the film. It was written and directed by Matthew Michael Carnahan, who wrote “Deepwater Horizon” and “World War Z.” “Mosul” marked Carnahan’s directorial debut.
The film is inspired by Luke Mogelson’s 2017 piece for The New Yorker, “The Desperate Battle to Destroy ISIS.”
Netflix will release “Mosul” in November 2020. The Hollywood Reporter broke the sale to Netflix.