Netflix has landed a host of stars for one of their upcoming Netflix Original Films. The streaming giant has secured the services of Sandra Bullock, Viola Davis, Vincent D’Onofrio and Jon Bernthal for an untitled thriller from Graham King. Nora Fingscheidt will direct from a script by Mission: Impossible – Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie.
The film, at one point titled Unforgiven, follows Ruth Slater, a woman released from prison after serving time for a violent crime, only to find that she re-enters a society that refuses to forgive her past. The judgement she faces in the outside world affects her mentally, and she realises her only hope for redemption is finding the estranged younger sister she was forced to leave behind.
The fact that Netflix are collaborating once again with Bullock is little surprise considering the success of Bird Box in 2018. Although the film was reviewed pretty poorly, the streaming giant reported record numbers of viewers – although a recent report by Wired revealed that the company counts anything watched for at least two minutes as a “view”, so take those numbers with a grain of salt.
Still, the film was a hit on social media, though ostensibly for the wrong reasons. Memes and parodies of the film popped up everywhere practically overnight, but they likely led to more people watching the film to get the joke. As some like to say, any publicity is good publicity. Netflix are all about the numbers, so more people watching a Bullock film means they’re interested in working with her again.
Netflix may be positioning this film to be an awards contender. King, the producer, is the man behind Oscar-winning films such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Argo and The Departed. If that’s the case, expect a December release and a large marketing push. And if the film is bad, at least Netflix can hope for another meme-heavy user experience á la Bird Box.