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Netflix is set to take worldwide distribution rights to “Bubbles,” TheWrap has learned, a top Black List script and super-hot package that kicks off this year’s Cannes Film Market.
The streaming giant will pay just south of $20 million at a highly competitive auction, an individual familiar with the negotiations told TheWrap. It was not immediately clear what other studios or indie houses were involved.
The stop-motion film will be directed by “Thor: Ragnarok” helmer Taika Waititi and co-director Mark Gustafson (“Fantastic Mr. Fox”).
Bubbles was late pop star Michael Jackson’s beloved pet chimpanzee. The film is billed as a coming-of-age tale told through the chimp’s eyes. CAA handled U.S. rights on the project, with Rocket Science taking international.
Isaac Adamson wrote the script, which topped the 2015 Black List. Andrew Kortschak and Walter Kortschak of End Cue will produce the movie with Dan Harmon’s Starburns Industries. Adamson and Lee Stobby will serve as executive producers.
“The main thing for me is to make sure it’s respectful of him and his legacy. I’m not interested in making a biopic,” Waititi said when he came on board in February. “I want to focus on telling a story that blends fact and fantasy, about an animal trying to make sense of the world.”
Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.