|EDDIE REDMAYNEFELICITY JONESAERONAUTSFELICITY|
Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne have got the cure for true-crime fatigue, and it is the upcoming serial killer thriller The Good Nurse. Chastain and Redmayne are attached to star in Tobias Lindholm‘s The Hunt English-language directorial debut The Good Nurse, based on the true story of Charlie Cullen, a nurse regarded as one of the most prolific serial killers in history. Netflix is nearing a deal to buy the rights of the thriller in one of the biggest sales deals to come out of the European Film Market.
Deadline reports that Netflix is closing in on a $25 million deal to pre-buy the world rights to The Good Nurse, a thriller starring Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne. The film, based on the book by Charles Graeber and penned by 1917 scribe Krysty Wilson-Cairns, is much anticipated by the European movie market because it marks the English-language feature directing debut of Tobias Lindholm, who according to Deadline, has been in-demand among buyers in Berlin.
The Good Nurse tells the true story of the pursuit and capture of Charlie Cullen, one of the most prolific serial killers in history who was found to have murdered up to 400 patients during the course of his 16-year career as a nurse, earning him the title the “Angel of Death.” Per Deadline:
Redmayne will play Cullen, who was caught by two former Newark homicide detectives who wouldn’t let go, aided by a nurse who worked alongside Cullen and risked her job and family’s safety to stop him. Chastain will play the nurse whose dogged pursuit helped end the killing spree. Additional casting is in the works with shoot being lined up for this year.
The film was originally set up under Lionsgate, but hit the open market shortly before the European Film Market, where it has become hot project. Darren Aronofsky’s Protozoa is producing The Good Nurse with FilmNation, which is handling sales with CAA. With Netflix’s seemingly infinite resources, it’s only a matter of time before the streaming giant acquires The Good Nurse, which will be its latest high-profile acquisition featuring a starry cast, and one of its many true-crime titles. But only The Good Nurse will star two of Hollywood’s most well-known redheads.
The successful specialized season chugs ahead as the top-tier hits add to their impressive totals. “Harriet” Focus, “Parasite” Neon, and “Jojo Rabbit” Fox Searchlight still hold the lead as recent titles haven’t reached the same levels. Three Netflix awards contenders, “The Irishman,” “Marriage Story” and “The Two Popes” are not getting major theater play, although Martin Scorsese’s film might get close to $10 million. With no new films in the last couple weeks likely to explode over Christmas, that means that unlike most years, some of the strong earlier performers have more chances to thrive during Christmas.
They are competing with other well-reviewed, Oscar and adult friendly studio releases like “Ford v Ferrari” 20th Century Fox, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” Sony, and “Knives Out” Lionsgate, all competing for the same audience.
This week brought a preview of what will be an early 2020 specialized top film. Neon released high-end acclaimed French romance “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” in two theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a one-week awards-qualifying run, which yielded excellent grosses for a subtitled film. They should do well after New Years when the current films are played out.
Meantime, Amazon’s pre-Prime release of “The Aeronauts” received very little interest in a national big market release.Opening
Portrait of a Lady on Fire Neon – Metacritic: 95; Festivals include: Cannes, Telluride, Toronto, New York 2019
$67,105 in 2 theaters; PTA per theater average: $33,552
When you got it, flaunt it. Every year December sees a number of films open for one week to qualify for awards, then return in the new year for regular dates. And the grosses for these brief dates aren’t reported. Neon is releasing the numbers on Celine Sciamma’s Cannes and New York Film Critics’ and European Film Award winner, a period drama about a brief, intense relationship between a wealthy bride-to-be and the woman hired to paint her portrait. This is a French, subtitled film, more chamber drama than epic, with reviews at the top end of any releases this year ahead of crowdpleaser “Les Miserables,” which was selected by France.
As a subtitled film, it doesn’t rank with the staggering initial results for Neon’s “Parasite.” But compared to nearly all other foreign language titles, this is at the high end, more so with an relatively unknown director to American audiences and stars. These are huge numbers compared to most–the lesbian romance also carries strong queer appeal.
What comes next: This will return in initial dates on February 14.