Cannes: Netflix Buys Todd Haynes’ Festival Hit ‘May December’ for $11 Million

The pulpy film draws raves for stars Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore in "May December"

Netflix has acquired the North American rights to Todd Haynes’ film “May December,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday. The film stars Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman — the former as a woman who became notorious and spent time in prison for an affair with a seventh grader whom she later married, the latter as the actress who hangs out with Moore’s character in preparation for playing her in a movie.

Netflix paid a reported $11 million for the film, a deliberately pulpy outing for Haynes (“Carol,” “Far From Heaven”). A week into the festival, it is Cannes’ largest deal to date.

The streaming company will release the film late this year and will no doubt launch an awards campaign focusing on Moore and Portman.

Haynes directed from a screenplay by Samy Burch and Alex Mechanik. Producers on “May December” were Jessica Elbaum and Will Ferrell of Gloria Sanchez Productions, Christine Vachon and Pam Koffler of Killer films and Portman and Sophie Mas of MountainA.

In a review on TheWrap, Tomris Laffly described “May December” as “a deliciously shapeshifting, saucily witty psychodrama.”

Check out TheWrap’s Cannes magazine here and all of our Cannes 2023 coverage here.