Netflix has scooped up rights to the Brad Pitt film about the rise and fall of General Stanley McChrystal that was being shopped at the Cannes film market.
Animal Kingdom helmer David Michod wrote the screenplay and will direct the satire, originally titled The Operators and now dubbed War Machine, which will be produced by Netflix and Pitt’s Plan B. New Regency and RatPac Entertainment, who were once onboard the project, are no longer involved.
The film, which begins shooting in August, will be streamed in 2016 on Netflix and get a theatrical release as well.
Based on the late Michael Hastings’ controversial best-seller The Operators, the story centers on the commanding general of international and U.S. forces in Afghanistan and offers a behind-the-scenes portrait of our military commanders, their high-stakes maneuvers and the ensuing political firestorm that shook the United States when he was forced to resign. But the film has changed course from its original dramatic vision when the rights were bought and will now be tonally in the vein of Wag the Dog. Pitt will star as Gen. McChrystal.
“War Machine is a rip-roaring, behind-the-facade tale of modern war decision-makers, from the corridors of power to the distant regions of America’s ambitions,“ Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said. “Brad and David are a perfect team to make this timely, compelling and entertaining film.”
Added Pitt: “We are so excited to be a part of the inspiring commitment by Netflix to produce cutting-edge content and to deliver it to a global audience.”
The project has been around since Pitt optioned Hastings book, which stemmed from a Rolling Stone article, in 2013. Michod boarded the project a year ago and began adapting the screenplay.
“I’m humbled to be making a big, bold movie about the whole sprawling, complex, cumbersome and crazy machinery of modern war and the many lives it touches,” Michod said.
Plan B partners Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner also are producing alongside Ian Bryce.
CAA, which reps Pitt, represented domestic rights.
Updated: CAA, not UTA, negotiated the deal.
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