Netflix has just announced its distribution deal for the Jamie Dornan-led (Fifty Shades of Grey) historical thriller Jadotville. The film tells the real life story of the standoff between an Irish UN batallion and Congolese troops led by French and Belgian missionaries in 1961. Dornan will play Irish commander Patrick Quinlan, and will star alongside Guillaume Canet (Last Night), who plays the French commander.
The film will be directed by commercial and music video veteran Richie Smyth in his feature film debut, with a script written by Kevin Brodbin (Constantine). Jadotville will make its premiere on Netflix in 2016.
This deal marks the streaming service’s continuation with their global original film initiatives. Netflix has always provided a substantial platform for foreign filmmakers and global awareness, proven in part by its abundant cache of documentaries. According to Netflix Chief of Content Officer Ted Sarandos,
The story of how Pat Quinlan led his troops against an overwhelming force without losing a single man is one of the great stories of the 20th century, and we are proud to be working with such a talented and committed team to bring it to life.
Original films are becoming a touchstone for the company as it moves into 2015. Since last fall, Netflix has added several big names and titles onto their roster. Picture deals with Adam Sandler, The Duplass Brothers, and the Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon sequel have begun to ripple within the industry and are changing the way many filmmakers are approaching distribution. Production for the first of Sandler’s projects, Ridiculous 6, is already underway.