Netflix Pays $30 Million For Secret Zendaya/John David Washington Movie Filmed During Pandemic

The streaming company beats out a series of other film studios to acquire the rights to Malcolm & Marie.


Streaming giant Netflix has acquired the rights to a new movie starring Zendaya and John David Washington that was filmed during the pandemic.

The movie is called Malcolm & Marie, and it was directed by Euphoria creator Sam Levinson. According to Deadline, Malcolm & Marie was filmed "quietly" during the pandemic in June and July this year at the Feldman Architecture's Caterpillar House in compliance with COVID-19 health and safety measures. The movie is black and white, and it was shot on 35mm film.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Now Playing: 13 TV Shows Netflix Has Canceled In 2020

It's a Euphoria reunion of sorts, as Zendaya also stars in that show. Additionally, Euphoria cinematographer Marcell Rév also worked on Malcolm & Marie.

The site also reported that numerous companies expressed interest in Malcom & Marie before Netflix won--other interested parties reportedly included HBO, Amazon, Searchlight, MGM, Apple, A24, and Focus Features. These parties were reportedly shown a 20-minute promo reel of the film before Netflix opened its wallet and paid a reported $30 million for it.

"Washington plays a filmmaker who returns home with his girlfriend (Zendaya) following a celebratory movie premiere as he awaits what's sure to be imminent critical and financial success," reads a line from the movie's description. "The evening suddenly takes a turn as revelations about their relationships begin to surface, testing the strength of their love."

Zendaya stars on Euphoria, and the idea for the movie came when they were informed that Euphoria needed to shut down production due to the virus. Deadline said Zendaya specifically asked Levinson if he could write and direct a movie for her, and it all happened, with Washington joining the cast after his starring roles in BlackKklansman and Tenet.

Levinson told Deadline that he is "thrilled" that Malcolm & Marie landed at Netflix, while the streaming giant also confirmed the news with a first promo image that you can see above.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 3 comments about this story