Netflix has stocked its upcoming action blockbuster Red Notice with some of the biggest names in entertainment. It was not that long ago that the streaming giant had trouble attracting the biggest stars, since most of their movies don't get a theatrical release, but ever since David Ayer and Will Smith launched Bright on the services, there has been a succession of superstars making their Netflix Originals debuts. This time around, it's Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, along with Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds. The film, directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, was expected to be released by Universal but moved to Netflix and added Reynolds, confirming the previously-reported castings of Gadot and Johnson.
Johnson has previously teamed with Thurber on Central Intelligence and Skyscraper. Reynolds and Gadot, meanwhile, played a married couple in the Kevin Costner vehicle Criminal, released in 2016. Gadot and Johnson, meanwhile, appeared together in the Fast & Furious franchise, so Red Notice is reunions all around. The movie is described as a "globe-trotting heist film," and will go into production in 2020. Relatively little is known about the story, other than the basic logline that the movie is an "international action thriller centered around the pursuit of the most wanted art thief in the world." When Universal had originally obtained the distribution rights to the film, it was the result of a bidding process that saw Netflix take the #2 spot -- so Netflix grabbing on as the film slipped away from Universal shouldn't be a surprise.
Netflix has put together a number of high-profile releases in recent years, including Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock, and Roma, which was nominated for Best Picture last year. In at least one previous case, with The Cloverfield Paradox, the previous distributor was struggling to find a workable release strategy and sold the rights to Netflix in a deal that seemed to work for all involved. The move was announced, and the film released, the night of the Super Bowl for maximum attention. In this case, Universal was happy with the film, but did not seem to want to spend the $130 million or so Netflix is expected to drop into it, per the announcement at Deadline.