After a well-documented and controversial back and forth, Netflix decided that it would not be attending Cannes this year. But that doesn't mean that it hasn't got its buyers at the festival, and they are reportedly looking to snap up Everybody Knows – a Spanish-language drama starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.
This was the movie that opened the festival this year and if it turns out that Netflix does manage to gain the rights, it would yet again bring up the big question of whether Netflix, despite being a streaming platform, should be allowed to be eligible for competition slots. For that to happen, however, Cannes rules would have to be changed.
It wasn't always this way. In 2017, Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories both premiered at Cannes and both hit critical acclaim. Cannes changed its ruling for the 2018 festival, however, and made it so that any movie showing at the festival would have to adhere to strict streaming rules that have been set up to shield cinema proprietors in the region. The rules is: movies must have a theatrical release, then not be streamed for home use three years after that run.
For obvious reasons, this does not suit Netflix's model, so it pulled all its movies from the festival, including those playing out of competition.
Cannes Cannes Can't
Although Netflix stands by its decision, in a recent interview CEO Reed Hastings did admit that the Cannes situation did go further than anyone expected.
“Sometimes we make mistakes," he said at a recent talk. "We got into a bigger situation with Cannes than we meant to.”
While this doesn't change the current situation, it may well mean that the icy relationship between the two movie giants may thaw out a little in the future. It also looks like Netflix will focus more on TV in France, with Hastings explaining its focus would now be on series.
"Standup, docuseries – there is so much we can do without being a disruptor on the movie side," he revealed.
Until then, there is a good chance, according to Variety, that Netflix will take some of the biggest Cannes headlines by buying up one of the festival's highlights.
- These are the best shows on Netflix right now