Netflix Strikes $15M North America & Latin America Deal For Colin Firth WWII Movie ‘Operation Mincemeat’ – EFM

Andreas Wiseman
·2-min read

EXCLUSIVE: Netflix has struck a big deal for the Colin Firth World War II movie Operation Mincemeat, we can reveal.

The streamer has pre-bought North America and Latin America rights for around $15 million from The King’s Speech producer See-Saw and Cohen Media Group after seeing footage in recent days.

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Shakespeare In Love and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel filmmaker John Madden directed the movie, which stars Oscar winner Firth alongside Succession star Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald, Penelope Wilton, Jason Isaacs, Johnny Flynn, Simon Russell Beale, Hattie Morahan, Mark Gatiss and Paul Ritter.

It has been 10 years since See-Saw and Firth teamed on multi-Oscar-winner The King’s Speech, and we hear this could be another potential awards pic. Set in 1943 when the Allies were determined to break Hitler’s grip on occupied Europe, the remarkable true story follows intelligence officers Ewen Montagu (Firth) and Charles Cholmondeley (Macfadyen) who conjure an inspired and improbable disinformation strategy centered on the most unlikely of secret agents: a dead man. It was a plan that helped turn the tide of the whole war.

CAA Media Finance and Simon Gillis of Cross City Films, See-Saw’s in-house sales arm, brokered the deal with Netflix on behalf of the filmmakers.

The completed movie had previously sold to IDC for Lat Am at Cannes 2019 but we understand all parties reached an amicable arrangement and there was none of the rancor that has characterized a handful of “buy-back” situations of late. It’s not crystal clear whether Netflix also wanted other territories — we’re told they didn’t — but the movie had already sold out internationally through FilmNation and we understand it remains with all its other buyers. Warner Brothers International previously picked up rights in UK, Republic of Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Benelux, for example, and is still releasing there.

Producers on Operation Mincemeat are Charles S. Cohen, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Kris Thykier. Script comes from Michelle Ashford based on the book by Ben Macintyre. Executive producers are Gillis and Christian McLaughlin.

Said Canning and Sherman: “Operation Mincemeat is a thrilling depiction of hope and high stakes daring that is all the more incredible for being based on a true story. It’s been wonderful to reunite with Colin again and we couldn’t be more delighted to continue our relationship with Netflix and to share John’s magnificent film with the world.”

Netflix certainly came to the virtual EFM with all barrels loaded. Yesterday, we broke news of the streamer’s record domestic buy for Liam Neeson action pic The Ice Road. We’re also hearing positive sounds from other sellers and buyers about the pace of deal-making at the event so far.

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