May 31, 2019
Netflix May 30 announced it has optioned three of best-selling author Sarah Dessen’s young adult novels and has acquired Academy Award winning director Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Moss.
The Dessen titles are Along for the Ride, This Lullaby and Once and for All. The author is one of the country’s most popular in the young adult, realistic fiction genre, according the Netflix.
The first novel to be adapted into a feature film will be Along for the Ride, a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Best YA Fiction. It follows a girl who meets an intriguing loner and fellow insomniac while staying with her father for the summer.
Also, Netflix has acquired worldwide rights (excluding the United Kingdom free TV rights which are retained by BBC) to The Power of the Dog, adapted from the 1967 Thomas Savage novel by Campion, from See-Saw Films’ in-house sales arm Cross City Films. Netflix will release it in 2021 on its SVOD service and in theaters. Netflix will be the worldwide distributor of the film, with Transmission Films releasing theatrically in Australia and New Zealand. The company will work with its other local partners worldwide on the theatrical release.
The story follows wealthy Montana brothers Phil (Cumberbatch) and George Burbank, who are two sides of one coin. Phil is graceful, brilliant and cruel where George is stolid, fastidious and gentle. Together they are joint owners of the biggest ranch in the Montana valley. It is a place where men are still men, the rapidly modernizing 20th century is kept at bay and where the figure of Bronco Henry, the greatest cowboy Phil ever knew, is revered. When George secretly marries local widow Rose (Moss), a shocked and angry Phil wages a sadistic, relentless war to destroy her entirely using her effeminate son Peter as a pawn.