Netflix has made its first acquisition of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival in the form of a $30 million deal for animated robot movie “Next Gen.” The acquisition is for international rights, excluding China. “Next Gen” is the first feature for directors Kevin R. Adams and Joe Ksander and will feature the voices of Michael Pena, Jason Sudeikis, David Cross, Kitana Turnbull, and Constance Wu. The deal was made at the Cannes market.
Cannes and Netflix have had a rocky relationship in 2018. The streaming giant removed all of its films from consideration for the festival after Cannes implemented a rule banning films without French theatrical distribution from competing for the Palme d’Or. The rule made Netflix-backed features ineligible to premiere in the Competition lineup, but it would’ve still allowed Netflix to debut titles like Orson Welles’ finished “The Other Side of the Wind” out of competition. The company didn’t budge and skipped Cannes entirely.
“Next Gen” is Netflix’s first pickup of the festival, and it might not be the last. Sources close to Netflix confirmed to IndieWire before Cannes started that the company was sending its acquisitions team to hunt for potential purchases. Rumor had it Netflix put in a bid to acquire Asghar Farhadi’s Cannes opener “Everybody Knows,” but Focus Features ended up with the Spanish-language drama.
The $30 million Netflix deal for “Next Gen” is one of the pricer acquisitions in Cannes market history. Deadline first reported the news.