Netflix Signs Ryan Reynolds, Michael Bay for Blockbuster 'Six Underground'
Celebrity Netflix has already upended the traditional TV industry by pushing out thousands of hours of original content and signing prolific showrunners like Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes to hugely-lucrative deals. Following its first blockbuster push with the $100 million action/fantasy film Bright, the company has locked in Deadpool 2 star Ryan Reynolds and Transformers director Michael Bay for a new action film project titled Six Underground, according to The Hollywood Reporter.Skydance Media will partner with Netflix on the project, which will follow "six billionaires who fake their own deaths and form an elite team to take down bad guys." Presumably, Reynolds will be one of the six billionaires on the team. The actor has a familiar team working on the production, as Deadpool 2 writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese wrote the script.While news of the deal just went public, it appears that Netflix, Bay, and Reynolds have Six Underground on the fast track. According to Omega Undergound, the project has cinematographer Bojan Bazelli (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Netflix's Spectral, The Ring) on board, as well as production designer Jeffrey Beecroft, who has worked with Bay on Pain & Gain, Transformers: Age of Extinction, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, and Transformers: The Last Knight.The film is expected to start production in the summer with a 2019 release date. That timeframe should allow Reynolds to jump into production on his next Deadpool-related project, X-Force, which is expected to film in the fall.While Bright, which starred Will Smith and Joel Edgerton, was not a critical hit for Netflix, its $100 million investment saw over 11 million stream the film over its first three days of release, according to a report from Nielsen. Those numbers actually could be have been even higher, but Netflix doesn't publicly share its streaming figures.Having Reynolds as the star of the film should make for a highly-anticipated title on the Netflix movie slate. Deadpool 2 just dethroned Avengers: Infinity War from the top spot at the box office, and it took in over $300 million worldwide in its first weekend of release.The deal fits in overall with the streaming giant's push into film production. The company has bought and produced dozens of movies over the last two years, and it just locked up a deal with Barack and Michelle Obama to create series and films for the platform.President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have entered into a multi-year agreement to produce films and series for Netflix, potentially including scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries, and features.Netflix has also found success with its deal with Adam Sandler. While the films Sandler has produced for the company haven't had any sort of critical acclaim, they've been winners for Netflix, as a 2017 shareholders report found that users have watched "more than half a billion hours" of Sandler's films.Keep an eye out for Six Underground in 2019.