Netflix is reportedly spending $450 million on original content this year, and it shows. The company has just announced “Special Correspondents,” a new feature film penned and directed by funny man Ricky Gervais, who stars alongside Eric Bana. The film will debut on Netflix next year.
Bana plays a struggling, but arrogant New York-based radio journalist who, with his job on the line and decadent lifestyle not helping things, fakes frontline war reports from his hideout in Manhattan. The film is a co-production between Bron Studios and Unanimous Entertainment. Ricky Gervais, Unanimous’ Chris Coen, Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert, Manuel Munz and Larry Sanitsky will produce.
Neflix content chief Ted Sarandos has his sights on the big leagues, as top specialty players and industry insiders are needless to say concerned by this deep-pocket competition. But Sarandos has slowly inserted himself into the community and has learned a lot since the early, Red Envelope indie pickup experiments. He has Oscar-nominated docs like “Virunga” and “The Square,” as well as several Duplass pickups out of SXSW including “6 Years” and “Manson Family Vacation.”
Creator and star of “The Office,” “Extras” and “Derek,” Gervais has won three Golden Globes — where he has thrice been a salacious host who skewers celebrities — two primetime Emmys and seven BAFTAS. Aussie actor Bana began his career as a comedian in the sketch comedy series “Full Frontal” starring in such films as “Munich,” “Black Hawk Down,” “Hanna” and “Star Trek.” He will next be seen in director Jim Sheridan’s “The Secret Scripture” and Guy Ritchie’s “Knights of the Round Table” film.