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Matt Reeves, the respected genre director known for Cloverfield, War for the Planet of the Apes, and not yet making a Batman movie, is moving forward with his first production at Netflix.
Last month, Reeves and his production team 6th & Idaho signed an exclusive first-look deal with the streaming service for future film productions, and now we have a clearer idea of what that production will be. According to Screen Rant, Reeves will produce a film adaptation of the short story “Life Sentence,” penned by author Matthew Baker, after winning the rights to the film in a bidding war with other distributors like Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, and even Apple.
The story concerns “a futuristic program where the memories are criminals are erased, instead of sending them to prison,” according to Deadline. The narrative focuses on one criminal subject to this program, who struggles to reconcile his past behaviours and connections with his present vision of himself. Something like Total Recall meets Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, maybe, based on that description.
The story’s author, Matthew Baker, has had experience selling short stories to production companies: his story “The Transition”, published in 2016, is already in the works for an adaptation at Amazon.
Last month we reported on Reeves’ Netflix deal as a major investment in the future film prospects of the service. On the heels of that, it’s interesting to see Reeves more forward with a project so quickly, considering he’s got a Bat movie supposedly on his plate (though whether he’s directly involved in Life Sentence beyond a producer role isn’t entirely clear). And the service’s aggressive bidding on the original story is evidence that, despite the middling reception of Altered Carbon, Netflix is still interested in pursuing prestige scifi.