Only a week after raising eyebrows upon being revealed, the Scarlett Johansson-led new Nancy Meyers film is said to be dead.
Well that was quick.
It’s barely been a week since reports circulated that Netflix was looking to spend a whopping $130m on Paris Paramount, a Nancy Meyers romantic comedy. That was a number that made more than a few people do a sizeable double take. To be fair, the cast that Meyers was reportedly putting together for the project was very impressive, with Scarlett Johansson set to be joined by Penelope Cruz, Owen Wilson, and Michael Fassbender. Also, Netflix spent $200m on Red Notice, so, y’know.
Still though, that reported $130m budget conjured up an era when endless subscriber growth seemed like a possibility and the company was splashing out cash on projects like it didn’t matter. These days, Netflix is a more fiscally-conscious organisation and as such, the idea of the company spending $130m on a romantic comedy just didn’t add up.
The reported reason for the project (which was announced around a year ago) being scrapped comes down to said budget, with The Hollywood Reporter stating that Meyers was actually looking for $150m to get the film made, a figure that proved to be too high even for Netflix. With backend deals becoming increasingly rare in streamer productions, we imagine the upfront salaries for the four stars wouldn’t have come cheap, not to mention budgeting for Meyers’ trademark lavish production design. Even so, that’s likely to have been far cheaper than a barrel-load of high end visual effects.
Whilst this is only one project, it signals an interesting direction in the trend for film budgeting. For years now, the narrative has become increasingly accepted that streamers are the place to go with romantic comedies and thrillers, one-time staples of the cinema. But what happens when ‘high-end’ filmmakers working in these genres can no longer command the budgets they need at streaming platforms? Does it mean that budgets for these films could decrease? It will be interesting to see what Meyers turns to next and also, where she looks to for her next project. We’ll bring you more updates on this story as we hear them.
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