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.
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 romantic drama MALCOLM & MARIE, starring @Zendaya and John David Washington, is coming to Netflix!— NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) September 13, 2020
Sam Levinson's lush, witty, achingly beautiful film is shot in black-and-white 35MM with cinematography by Marcell Rév. pic.twitter.com/ui1iYEGvtK
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.