Chloe Domont’s “Fair Play” sparked one of the few bidding wars at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and Netflix has dropped the first trailer for all to see. At a festival where even seemingly surefire titles like “Cat Person” went without a buyer, “Fair Play” was snagged f0r $20 million from Netflix. That’s shy of the record $25 million that Apple paid for eventual Best Picture Oscar winner “CODA,” but who’s counting?
The relationship drama/corporate melodrama stars Phoebe Dynevor (“Bridgerton”) and Alden Ehrenreich (“Oppenheimer”) as a pair of co-workers secretly dating who come to emotional blows over a coveted promotion. The young lovers struggle with the price of success and the limits of professional ambition as writer/director Domont’s feature debut deconstructs the destructive gender dynamics that can pit partners against each other amid a rapidly transforming world.
With 90% and 7.6/10 on Rotten Tomatoes, “Fair Play” seems to be the kind of crowd-pleasing (or crowd-jolting) star vehicle that often helped turn promising young performers into A-list draws. On the 40th anniversary of “Risky Business,” we must remember that Tom Cruise became a screen icon thanks to “Top Gun” and movies like “A Few Good Men” and “Cocktail.”
The modern entertainment ecosystem often takes promising talent and plugs them into mega-budget franchise flicks. Ironically, one of Cruise’s few flops in the 1980s was Ridley Scott’s fantastical “Legend.” Ehrenreich has already dealt with this new normal, as he played a young Han Solo in the commercially disastrous “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” Offbeat flicks like “Cocaine Bear” and “Hail, Caesar!” serve as a reminder that the current generation needs more than just mega-budget franchise films to reach their potential, and many point to him as a standout in the stacked “Oppenheimer” cast.
“Fair Play,” opening in theaters on September 29 prior to a global Netflix premiere on October 13, also features Eddie Marsan, Rich Sommer, and Sebastian De Souza. The film is produced by Leopold Hughes and Ben LeClair for T-Street, Tim White, Trevor White and Allan Mandelbaum for Star Thrower. Ram Bergman, Rian Johnson for T-Street and Chloe Domont and Anđelka Vlaisavljević executive produced. The film is produced in partnership with MRC.
Vanity Fair first premiered the trailer.