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Netflix Scoops Olivier Assayas’s ‘Wasp Network’ With Penelope Cruz, Edgar Ramirez (EXCLUSIVE)

Netflix has acquired U.S. rights and several other territories for Olivier Assayas’ “Wasp Network,” the Cuban spy thriller headlined by Penelope Cruz and Edgar Ramirez which world premiered at Venice last year, Variety has learned.

The streaming giant is believed to have bought international rights to the film outside of China, Eastern Europe, Greece, Portugal, Italy and the Middle East. In France, Netflix has a 36-month exclusive SVOD window following a theatrical release.

“Wasp Network” centers on the true story of Cuban spies in America during the 1990s, when anti-Castro groups based in Florida carried out military attacks on Cuba and the Cuban government struck back with the Wasp Network to infiltrate those organizations.

Assayas wrote the screenplay, which is based on Fernando Morais’ book, “The Last Soldiers on the Cold War: The Story of the Cuban Five.” Gael Garcia Bernal and Wagner Moura complete the cast.

Assayas, whose credits include the Golden Globe-winning miniseries “Carlos” and the Cannes prize-winning “Personal Shopper,” previously told Variety that the Cuba-set film was a long-shot to get made because of its political subject and the difficulties in raising financing.

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He said “Wasp Network” explores “modern politics, the underworld of modern information and disinformation, which at the time we called propaganda.”

CG Cinema’s Charles Gillibert and RT Features’ Rodrigo Teixeira produced the film. Adrian Guerra at the Spanish banner Nostromo (“Buried”) co-produced and sold the Spanish rights to Wanda. After Venice, “Wasp Network” went on to play at San Sebastian, Toronto and New York.

CAA and RT Features repped U.S. rights. Orange Studio is handling the film internationally and has pre-sold it in a raft of territories, including Italy (BIM Distribuzione); Israel (Shoval); Greece (Spentzos); Portugal (Nos Lusomundo); Russia (Mauris Film); Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania (Prorom); former Yugoslavia (MCF); Baltics (ACME); and airlines (Cinesky). Memento Films Distribution will release “Wasp Network” later this month.

Assayas will be celebrated on Sunday by French film promotion org UniFrance and will receive the French Cinema Award.

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