Netflix is reportedly in talks with Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp to produce and direct a series of films for the streaming giant over the next few years.
The talks come as the Paris-based studio is struggling with debts following the box office failure of Besson’s big-budget comic book adaptation Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets. Netflix is also reportedly considering buying a piece of EuropaCorp’s library, which includes the Taken, Taxi and Transporter franchises.
New films that Besson produces or directs for the streaming giant would be labelled as Netflix Originals and be budgeted in the $30m range, way below Valerian’s reported $180m budget.
US studio Lionsgate and Tunisian film tycoon Tarak Ben Ammar are also reportedly looking at either acquiring or taking a stake in EuropaCorp.
Over the past few years, Netflix has appeared to prefer investing in individual movies rather than acquiring whole companies. Some of these investments have been into big-budget productions, such as Martin Scorsese’s upcoming The Irishman and Will Smith’s apparently critic-proof Bright.
However, last August the streaming giant made its first company acquisition by snapping up comic book publishing company Millarworld, in an apparent attempt to create its own IP-based franchises. Millarworld has spawned properties such as Kick-Ass, Kingsman and Old Man Logan.
EuropaCorp has traditionally financed its movies through the international pre-sales model and has output deals in several territories, including with Fundamental Films in China, where Netflix is not allowed to operate.