Netflix is said to be in talks with Luc Besson – the director of Valerian, Lucy, and Léon – and his co-owned independent studio EuropaCorp for a multi-picture deal, with Besson directing and producing said films.
But don't expect a big-budgeted sequel to the box office disappointment Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which grossed just $225 million (about Rs. 1,433.81 crore) off a $209-million budget (about Rs. 1,331.85 crore). According to Variety's sources, the films – which will carry the 'Netflix original' banner – will be in the $30 million bracket (about Rs. 191 crore).
Netflix might also buy into EuropaCorp's library as part of the deal, which includes franchises such as Transporter, Taxi, and Taken, in addition to Besson's own directorial work. That wouldn't be a standard move for the streaming service, whose only prior acquisition to date includes the comic publisher Millarworld.
Of course, EuropaCorp could use all the help it can get, considering it's currently under an estimated debt of EUR 230 million (about Rs. 1,821 crore). The company's valuation has fallen by more than 60 percent since the release of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets last year, as per Variety.
Lionsgate – the studio behind movies such as The Hunger Games, John Wick, and La La Land – is also interested in acquiring EuropaCorp, while it itself gets bid on from the likes of Amazon, Verizon, and Comcast. Lionsgate is also set to distribute Besson's next film, Anna, in the US, currently in production with Helen Mirren, Cillian Murphy, and Luke Evans.