Netflix Acquires Anna Kendrick Directorial Debut ‘Woman of the Hour’

Toronto 2023:  The dark comedy based on the true-life incident of a serial killer appearing on “The Dating Game” drew interest from multiple bidders

Woman of the Hour
"Woman of the Hour." (Courtesy of TIFF)

Netflix has acquired Anna Kendrick’s directorial debut following a buzzy premiere for the acclaimed dark dramedy at the Toronto Film Festival, TheWrap has learned. “Woman of the Hour” is based on a true story concerning a serial killer who appeared as a guest on a dating game show.

The film will stream on Netflix in the United States, France, Italy, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City, Andorra, Benelux (Aruba, Belgium, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba, Curaçao, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sint Maartin), Japan, Macau, South Korea, Switzerland, Hungary, Hong Kong, Romania, Bulgaria, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, West Indies and their territories & possessions.

It marks the first big-deal acquisition at this year’s TIFF, with Deadline reporting an $11 million pricetag. This marks, thus far, an exception to the rule this festival season, which has been low on sales. As previously discussed in TheWrap, this is partially due to uncertainty concerning the strikes, as well as hesitancy from studios and streamers to buy films made or promoted amid interim agreements.

Kendrick also stars in the film as real-life contestant Cheryl Bradshaw, who won a date with a guy eventually convicted of killing eight women. Daniel Zovatto plays the not-quite-so-eligible bachelor.

Steve Pond stated in his review for TheWrap that “‘Woman of the Hour’ can be light on its feet, but it can also dig in and stomp down hard.”

Ian McDonald wrote the screenplay, a Black List selection, while Kendrick produced with Vertigo’s Roy Lee, and Miri Yoon and BoulderLight Pictures’ JD Lifshitz and Raphael Margules. Executive producers include Stephen Crawford, Andrew Deane, Stuart Ford, Zach Garrett, Miquel A. Palos, Jr., Anna Kendrick, Ian McDonald, Joe Penna, Paul Barbeau, Sean Patrick O’Reilly, Mathew Helderman and Luke Taylor, and Tracy Rosenblum is co-producer.

CAA Media Finance, Range Media and Stuart Ford’s AGC negotiated the deal with AGC Studios financing along with Bondit Media Finance.

Netflix has procured and released fewer films compared to years past amid an industry-wide belt-tightening. However, they have been willing to pay up for a showy, buzzy title. They shelled out $20 million at this year’s Sundance for the corporate finance-set romantic thriller “Fair Play.”

Deadline first reported this news.