Oct 11, 2018

Netflix Makes First-Look Film Deal With Michael Sugar’s Sugar23 Banner

Netflix has made a multi-year first-look feature film deal with Sugar23, the company founded by Oscar-winning Spotlight producer and manager Michael Sugar. He and Sugar23’s Head of Production Ashley Zalta will make Netflix their creative home, with the streamer getting first crack at any feature film the company generates. Sugar separately has a first-look TV deal with Steve Golin’s Anonymous Content, where Sugar was a partner for many years.

The Netflix deal comes on the heels of finalizing a deal for the service to finance and release The Laundromat, the Steven Soderbergh-directed drama about the Panama Papers scandal that will star Gary Oldman, Meryl Streep, Antonio Banderas and David Schwimmer anchoring an ensemble cast. The Scott Z. Burns-script tells the sprawling tale of how the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca created hundreds of thousands of shell companies to help the wealthy avoid paying taxes, creating havoc in its deceptive wake. The scam was exposed by a consortium of journalists sent by an anonymous whistle blower the largest leak of data — 11 million records — in corporate and government history. It toppled top politicians and embarrassed many others. Sugar is producing with Lawrence Grey, Gregory Jacobs, Michael Sugar, Burns and Topic Studios. Douglas Urbanski is exec producer.

The Laundromat becomes the first film in the newly created first look deal from Netflix. Sugar previously worked with Netflix on the just-unveiled Cary Fukunaga-directed series Maniac that stars Jonah Hill, Emma Stone and Justin Theroux, The OA and 13 Reasons Why. Other film projects Sugar has percolating at Netflix include Tell Me Everything, and Hummingbird Salamander.

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