Per Deadline, Netflix has purchased the U.S. rights to the Liam Neeson–Laurence Fishburne action thriller The Ice Road. The deal is a record domestic-only deal for the European Film Market.
Incredibly, Netflix paid $18 million for the film, but based only on a promo they saw. There were multiple bidders, but the deal closed over the weekend as the virtual EFM got underway.
The film centers on a remote diamond mine, which collapses in the far northern regions of Canada. An ice driver then leads an impossible rescue mission over a frozen ocean to save the lives of trapped miners despite thawing waters and a threat they never see coming.
That’s pretty much the ideal late-career Neeson plot. Just hearing that pitch probably got Netflix salivating. Neeson’s post-Taken career arc as an action hero has been extremely profitable, so it’s easy to see why the streamer was happy to bid a large sum to secure the film. It’s still a lot for essentially a pitch, but still.
Jonathan Hensleigh, who has previously written other popular action films such as Die Hard With A Vengeance and Armageddon, is writing and directing.
While CAA Media finance brokered the deal with Netflix, The Solution handled foreign sales and has reportedly sold the movie well around the world, where Neeson remains a solid box office bet.