Netflix Recruits Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Godot for Their Biggest Movie Yet

Netflix is upping its game again, landing Red Notice, a globetrotting heist thriller starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds. The film will reunite Johnson with his Central Intelligence and Skyscraper director, Rawson Marshall Thurber. The project was originally set up at Universal Pictures last year, but ultimately greenlit by Netflix.

After Thurber finished his screenplay, the director and producers "sensed hesitation" from Universal, which had scheduled the film for a Nov. 13, 2020 release, reports Deadline. According to the outlet's sources, the pitch came with detailed timeline clauses, and the opportunity to present the project to Netflix came, so producers took it. The streamer saw Thurber's finished script 10 days ago and instantly committed to making the film.

When Universal picked up the project last year, it was a complicated, big deal that included a $20 million check for Johnson and an "eight-figure" salary for Thurber. Gadot and Reynolds will likely be paid an upfront salary as well. The budget for the film will be in the "$130 million range," reports Deadline, and it is Netflix's biggest single star-package movie yet.

This will be Johnson's first project for Netflix. Gadot was close to starring in The Expansion Project for the streamer, but ironically could not because of Red Notice. As for Reynolds, he also stars in Michael Bay's upcoming 6 Underground, which Netflix will release.

Red Notice will be produced by FlynnPictureCo's Beau Flynn, Thurber and Johnson, Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia under their Steven Bucks Production banner. Scott Sheldon is an executive producer.

Netflix later confirmed the deal, releasing a statement with comments from Johnson and Thurber.

"With Red Notice, our goal at Seven Bucks Productions was to break down traditional barriers and create a true global event for the audience. Netflix has illustrated that they are the perfect partners to accomplish this goal," Johnson said.

"I admire the ambition of Netflix to become one of the biggest movie studios in the world," the Hobbs & Shaw star continued. "Their original content generates critical acclaim and invites full collaboration on every level of production. Their unbridled enthusiasm for Red Notice is equally matched by their commitment to entertaining audiences on an international scale."

Johnson added, "As the landscape of movies, distribution and audience consumption continues to evolve, our Seven Bucks focus is to continue to find the best platform and partners to thrive in this ever-changing environment. Director/writer Rawson Thurber has delivered a dynamic script that me and my co-stars and partners-in-heist, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds, can't wait to shoot. The fun we're gonna have making Red Notice, but more importantly — the fun the worldwide audience will have watching it in 190+ countries — all at the same moment."

Netflix's decision to pick up Red Notice appears to debunk a report from The Information that claimed the failure of Ben Affleck's action movie Triple Frontier is making the streamer suddenly budget conscious. The film cost about $115 million to make and was perceived as a flop among critics and viewers.

However, Red Notice and other upcoming movies prove Netflix is not ready to stop giving A-listers big checks to star in its movies. Recently, Netflix agreed to make Ryan Murphy's film version of The Prom, which will star Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Ariana Grande. George Clooney signed on to star in and direct Good Morning, Midnight, while Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman will star in the Denzel Washington-produced Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.


Johnson will next be seen in Universal's Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, which opens on Aug. 2.

Photo credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images