Netflix has a knack for really ticking off its subscribers. If you haven’t been outraged by the recent plan to reduce password sharing, or their treatment of Wednesday star Jenna Ortega (who was allegedly forced to film scenes with COVID!), or their cancellation of Glow, here’s another bit of news to be angry about: The streamer has just ditched its movie with romantic comedy legend Nancy Meyers.
At this point, it’s almost as if Netflix is playing a game with itself: “How enraged can we make our subscriber pool today?” Well, they may have pushed it a little too far Tuesday night, when reports started coming out about the “budget issues” that led to the downfall of Meyers’ new film, Paris Paramount. (What a name! The perfect addition to charming titles like Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris and Emily in Paris.)
Last week, Puck reported that Netflix and Meyers had entered a bit of a stalemate surrounding her next film. The issue was the gargantuan budget: While Netflix was offering $130 million, Meyers continued to demand $150 million. What that extra $20 million was for, who knows? Probably a third kitchen—we need another dreamy marble top island. Perhaps Diane Keaton would’ve made an appearance.
Whatever that extra $20 million was for, it was enough to send Netflix off the deep end, as the streamer then canceled Meyers’ film altogether. Is $150 million even that much? It certainly is for a rom-com—for example, 2022’s Ticket to Paradise, starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts, only cost $60 million. Meyers’ movie would’ve had a Marvel-sized budget—Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings had a budget near $150 million.
Meyers fans were already incredibly excited for the film, which reportedly was set to star Scarlett Johansson, Owen Wilson, Penelope Cruz, and Michael Fassbender. Paris Paramount was set to follow two filmmakers as they apprehensively started work together again, falling in and out of love with each other in the process.
Wouldn’t we all have liked to see that story? Too bad! Fans put out a rally call all over social media last night, chastising Netflix while also demanding the federal government get involved.
Fans of the rom-com director are particularly upset by the fact that, even though $150 million is a big chunk of change, Netflix has a track record of handing out similarly massive budgets to other genres. The Gray Man, an action film developed by the Russo Brothers starring Ryan Gosling, was rewarded with a $200 million budget just a few years ago.
The good news: Netflix stepped away from the project, which means that anyone else can join forces with Meyers to get the rom-com made. Still, dear lord, would it have killed Netflix to invest in something that actually interests their subscribers ?
This is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, written by editor Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.
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