One of Netflix's first big swings was 2017's Bright – a fantasy-infused cop drama starring Will Smith that stands at a lowly 27% on Rotten Tomatoes. While it wasn't a great movie, viewers checked it out in droves, and it showed that the streaming service could compete when it comes to landing big stars for films made to be seen at home.
Now, four years later, Smith is returning to work on another Netflix movie project – but this one might actually be a winner. The Men in Black star is set to lead a movie called Fast & Loose, which is coming from director David Leitch, who made Hobbs and Shaw, Deadpool 2 and Atomic Blonde.
Smith plays a man with amnesia, who discovers that he'd actually been living two lives before this incident – both as an undercover CIA agent, and a 'crime kingpin'. It's unclear when the movie is set to release, but we expect it won't be any time in the immediate future.
Netflix won what was apparently a bidding war for the movie from STXfilms that began back in February, according to Deadline, and has acquired worldwide rights for Fast & Loose.
Leitch's next movie is Bullet Train, an assassin-based action movie set in Japan starring Brad Pitt. The director also had a credit on the first John Wick movie.
Smith's next film, meanwhile, is a possible Oscar contender – King Richard, which is about the father of tennis masters Venus and Serena Williams. That one is dropping onto HBO Max the same day it hits theaters.
Check out Netflix's announcement below:
The next movie from David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2) is coming to Netflix:FAST & LOOSE stars Will Smith as a man who wakes up with no memories to find he’s been living a double life; one as a crime kingpin, and another as an undercover CIA agent.July 27, 2021
Analysis: Netflix keeps committing to big movies
In around a decade, we wouldn't be surprised if the vast majority of important directors you can think of would've made a movie for Netflix. Just this year, Netflix is releasing movies from Top Gun Maverick director Joseph Kosinski (Escape From Spiderhead), The Assassinations of Jesse James director Andrew Dominik (Blonde) and The Big Short's Adam McKay (Don't Look Up, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio).
Netflix is making more and more moves into blockbuster-style territory, though, and releasing the type of films that you're more used to seeing on the big screen. Next up is Red Notice in November. It's an action movie starring Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds – which cost at least $160 million to make, according to Variety.
Netflix is apparently going to top that with The Gray Man, however, a spy drama starring Chris Evans, Ryan Gosling and Jessica Henwick from Avengers: Endgame directors the Russo brothers. One report describes that production as having the scale of a James Bond movie.
So, that's a big part of what Netflix is doing with your subscription money: making headline-grabbing movies with major stars.
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Samuel is a PR Manager at game developer Frontier. Formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor, he's an expert in Marvel, Star Wars, Netflix shows and general streaming stuff. Before his stint at TechRadar, he spent six years at PC Gamer. Samuel is also the co-host of the popular Back Page podcast, in which he details the trials and tribulations of being a games magazine editor – and attempts to justify his impulsive eBay games buying binges.