Netflix has acquired the drama “Mudbound,” which premiered on January 21 in the Sundance Film Festival’s Premieres section. Netflix paid $12.5 million for the U.S. rights and other select rights to the film, Deadline reports. Good Universe previously sold the rights to multiple territories for the film.
Directed by Dee Rees and set in the post-World War II rural Mississippi, “Mudbound” tells the story of two families pitted against the social hierarchy of 1940’s American south. When Ronsel (Jason Mitchell) and Jamie (Garrett Hedlund) return from war to life on a farm, their unique friendship challenges the already strained relationship between the two families. “Mudbound” is based on author Hillary Jordan’s 2009 novel of the same name, and features an ensemble cast that includes Jason Clarke, Carey Mulligan, Rob Morgan, and Mary J. Blige.
Rees shares a writing credit with screenwriter Virgil Williams, who first adapted Jordan’s novel several years ago.
The deal for “Mudbound” makes it the largest acquisition at Sundance this year, having just barely surpassed the $12 million deal for director Michael Showalter’s dramatic comedy “The Big Sick,” bought by Amazon. “Mudbound” was produced by Carl Effenson, Sally Jo Effenson, Cassian Elwes, and Charles D. King. Teddy Schwarzman and Daniel Steinman served as executive producers.
WME Global is handling the sale, which includes a limited theatrical release during awards season for the acting performances.
Rees’s 2011 debut “Pariah” and 2015 HBO drama “Bessie” were both critically acclaimed, award-winning films. “Pariah” premiered at Sundance and focuses on a teenager girl in Brooklyn searching for sexual expression, while “Bessie” tells the story of legendary blues performer Bessie Smith.