Cannes: Netflix Circling Kevin James Comedy ‘True Memoirs of an International Assassin’

Streaming platform in talks to give film a 2016 exclusive online release

Netflix may be taking something other than a Chopard gift bag home from the Cannes Film Festival this year: the streaming platform is circling the forthcoming Kevin James comedy “True Memoirs of an International Assassin,” TheWrap has learned.

The deal isn’t final, an individual close to the talks told TheWrap, but Netflix would retain worldwide distribution rights to the project, following a writer whose debut novel about a deadly assassin is labelled a true story instead of fiction. The author then finds himself thrust into the world of his protagonist and must take on his identity for his own survival.

Reps for Netflix and James have not yet returned TheWrap’s request for comment.

The pairing of Netflix and James ins’t out of left field given the platform’s four-picture deal with Adam Sandler, who produces the same type cross-generational, everyman comedy. Producers and financiers on the project are the previously reported  Merced Media and Palmstar Media — budgets are said to be on par with any studio film James would normally undertake.

ted sarandos

Although wide speculation saw digital players like Netflix and Amazon as potential disruptors at the French fest and film market, this would be the first significant acquisition for a company in the category. But don’t let that suggest Netflix wasn’t in the consciousness on the Croisette.

Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos got heckled at a keynote address with complaints over Netflix’s model for offering local content abroad, that comes free of the tax bill that local production companies pick up.

“Are you aware that in five, 10, 15 years, you will destroy the current ecosystem of film production in Europe?” the heckler asked. Sarandos said he felt Netflix would “grow the European film ecosystem” by providing a platform from international filmmakers.