By Sahil Patel
Like Netflix, Amazon Studios is also interested in financing, acquiring, and producing feature films for its streaming platform. And now the studio, which launched its feature film division earlier this year, has its first big project.
According to multiple reports, Amazon Studios is close to nabbing domestic rights to “Elvis & Nixon,” a historical drama about an infamous White House meeting and photo-op between the titular rock star and president starring Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey. Deadline reports the deal is for nearly $4 million, many shades shy of Netflix’s most high-profile film acquisition to date, Brad Pitt’s “War Machine,” which it reportedly ponied up $60 million for.
Unlike Netflix (in most cases), Amazon Studios is aiming for a more traditional distribution structure for its film releases. The studio has previously said it will release its films theatrically before bringing them to Amazon Prime Instant Video in an early window. For “Elvis & Nixon,” Amazon has partnered with New York-based Bleecker Street to handle the film’s theatrical release.
“Elvis & Nixon” is directed by Liza Johnson, produced by Cassian Elwes, Cary Elwes, and Holly Wiersma, and executive produced by Byron Wetzel, Tim Smith, Paul Brett, Johnny Mac, Dave Hansen, Laura Rister, Rob Barnum, and Jason Micalef.
Amazon Studios’ film division is led by head of production Ted Hope, a former executive at Good Machine and Fandor. Its goal is to buy and produce edgy, “prestige” films with a focus on “unique stories, voices, and characters from top and up-and-coming creators,” the company has previously said.