Filmmaker Antoine Fuqua signed a first-look film deal with Netflix under his renamed production banner Hill District Media. As reported by Variety, the deal comes after the successful release of The Guilty on the streaming platform, for which Jake Gyllenhaal is receiving a lot of award buzz.
While there’s no new Netflix project on Fuqua’s busy agenda yet, the filmmaker commented on the deal by saying that “working with Netflix on The Guilty was such a rewarding experience, both from an artistic and collaborative point of view.” Fuqua also added that he’s “beyond excited to continue this relationship and expand our slate of films with a partner that shares our vision at Hill District Media.”
On the Netflix side of things, vice president at Netflix Film Tendo Nagenda praised Fuqua, who’s an “impactful storyteller who believes art can create meaningful change in the world.” As for the first-look deal, Nagenda said that “We [Netflix] had a great collaboration with him on The Guilty and look forward to telling many more stories together in the future.”
The Guilty is the American adaptation of 2018’s Danish crime thriller Den Skyldige. The movie follows a police dispatch center call operator who tries to help a victim in distress. In the adapted version, Gyllenhaal played Joe Baylor, a man who tries to do everything to help the victims on the other side of the phone line. However, Joe gets entangled with a crime that’s not what it seems and must find out the truth about the call he’s receiving before someone gets hurt.
The Guilty was praised for its unique approach to a thriller since it takes the focus out of action set pieces and puts it into human relations. But, of course, a premise such as this could only work with a powerhouse of an actor in the leading role, and in the case of the adaptation, Gyllenhaal is astonishing. In his review of the movie, Adam Chitwood said that:
“For Gyllenhaal’s performance alone, The Guilty is worth your while, but that Fuqua and Pizzolatto are also able to craft a compelling, taut, emotional thriller that touches on everything from policing to mental illness make it a must-see.”
The Guilty script was adapted by Nic Pizzolatto, a three-time Emmy nominee who created HBO hit series True Detective. The film is directed by Fuqua, who worked with Pizzolatto on The Magnificent Seven remake. The Guilty is available right now on Netflix.