Fresh off Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, his … well, let’s just say “misunderstood” epic of a space opera, Luc Besson is now reportedly in discussions with Netflix for a multi-picture deal.
According to Variety, citing three independent “sources with knowledge of the discussions,” Besson—best known around these parts for being the visionary mad genius behind The Fifth Element—would direct and produce (under his EuropaCorp company) a series of Netflix original films in the $30 million budget range.
The talks reportedly began simply as a multi-picture deal, but now also include Netflix buying into EuropaCorp’s film library, estimated at upwards of $185 million. Per the company’s website, since launching in 1999, EuropaCorp has produced or co-produced more than 110 films, distributed some 160 in France, and now boasts a catalog of some 500 titles in French and English – including Lucy, Hitman, and Valerian. So yeah, your Netflix subscription could be getting a little more bang for the buck.
There’s also talk that Netflix, among others, could also be “looking at EuropaCorp’s assets” and possibly buying a stake in the company. Acquisitions haven’t exactly been Netflix’s bread and butter, but its recent deal for Mark Millar’s Millarworld could be a sign of things to come.
And with its Big T franchises of Taxi, Taken, and Transporter, along with the rest of EuropaCorp’s impressive library, there’s certainly a lot of upside, though debt is an issue, as the company’s market valuation has fallen by more than 60 percent since Valerian’s unimpressive bow.
But say what you will about Valerian’s story, you can’t say you’ve ever seen anything like it. And that’s got a lot to do with Besson having the creative freedom to express his vast imagination, which is what you get when you produce your own films. Judging from what other filmmakers have said, it’s also what you get with Netflix backing. So yeah, we’ll be keeping track of this fluid situation.
SYFY WIRE reached out to Netflix for comment, but has not heard back as of press time.