Malcom & Marie: Netflix nabs rights to Zendaya-led romantic drama
Following an intense bidding war against major studios and streamers including HBO, Amazon, Searchlight and A24, Deadline brings word that Netflix has successfully won the global rights to Euphoria creator Sam Levinson’s upcoming romantic drama film Malcom & Marie. The deal reportedly costs Netflix around $30 million with the cast and crew set to share a portion of this to Feeding America.
“So grateful to this cast and crew, many of whom are my ‘Euphoria’ family, for coming together during such uncertain times.” Levinson said in a statement. “We felt privileged to be able to make this film together and we did so with a lot of love. We are all thrilled that it has ended up with Netflix which is unparalleled in allowing filmmakers the freedom to tell their stories that reach audiences all over the world.”
The Zendaya and John David Washington-fronted project is known for being one of the few film productions that were able to quietly gone into and finish production during the pandemic.
The plot details for Malcolm & Marie are being kept under wraps but it is being likened to Netflix’s acclaimed 2019 film Marriage Story. The film is also expected to feature a number of social themes that are in line with what the world’s currently experiencing.
The idea for the project first started when Zendaya contacted Levinson, asking that if it was possible for him to write and direct a movie during the quarantine. After a few days, Levinson came up with the story for the Zendaya-led film. In order to make this project a reality, Levinson and production partner Ashley Levinson (Queen & Slim) along with Kevin Turen, Washington, and Zendaya personally financed the project during the pre-production and production stages.
Before and during filming, producers reportedly implemented strict protocols to ensure the safety of the cast and crew and to meet with the necessary requirements by the WGA, DGA, and SAG. One of the safety measures exercised was that no one was allowed to leave the property they rented as the cast and crew had their own designated dwellings. Another guideline was that no crew member could be in close contact with the actors without proper personal protective equipment.
Malcolm & Marie is executive produced by Aaron L. Gilbert, Will Greenfield, Washington, Zendaya, and Scott Mescudi better known as Kid Cudi along with Katia Washington, Harrison Kreiss, Stuart Manashil and Kenneth Yu. Before filming started, New Regency’s Yariv Milchan and Michael Schafer got wind of the upcoming film and immediately boarded the project as executive producers and to support financing.
Both Zendaya and Washington have been enjoying a steady rise in their careers these past recent years as they’ve starred in a few high-profile projects. The Euphoria lead star will next be seen in Denis Villeneuve’s star-studded sci-fi remake of Dune, and in Sony and Marvel Studios’ upcoming third installment to their Tom Holland-led Spider-Man films. Meanwhile, Washington is leading Christopher Nolan’s newest film Tenet which is now showing in select theaters.