Netflix Gets Universal’s ‘Red Notice,’ Adds Ryan Reynolds to Cast

Netflix has taken over production of action-adventure movie Red Notice, from Universal Pictures.

The film — originally slated for Universal’s 2020 theatrical schedule — stars Dwayne Johnson (Skyscraper, Jumanji: The Next Level) and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), with Netflix reportedly adding Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) to the cast.

Dwyane Johnson

Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions is co-producer on the globetrotting action-thriller centered on the pursuit of the most-wanted art thief in the world and is set to begin principal photography in various locations in 2020.

The film is written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Skyscraper, Central Intelligence).

“With Red Notice, our goal at Seven Bucks Productions was to break down traditional barriers and create a true global event for the audience,” Johnson said in a statement. “Netflix has illustrated that they are the perfect partners to accomplish this goal.”

With Netflix’s business model mandating streaming access with scant simultaneous theatrical distribution, Johnson & Co. are sacrificing back-end compensation — a growing trend among studios — for instantaneous distribution in more than 190 countries.

“[Netflix’s] original content generates critical acclaim and invites full collaboration on every level of production,” Johnson said. “Their unbridled enthusiasm for Red Notice is equally matched by their commitment to entertaining audiences on an international scale. As the landscape of movies, distribution and audience consumption continues to evolve, our Seven Bucks focus is to continue to find the best platform and partners to thrive in this ever changing environment.”

Netflix is currently in development on John Henry and The Statesman with Johnson attached to star and Seven Bucks Productions, among others, producing.

Susan Levison Named Head of WWE Studios

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is doubling down on original content. The company has named longtime TV executive Susan Levison head of WWE Studios, reporting to WWE co-president Michelle Wilson.

Levison comes from CBS Television Studios, where she was SVP, alternative programming, responsible for all unscripted development and production across cable, streaming and digital platforms. While at CBS, she produced unscripted projects and series in a variety of genres.

Susan Levison

WWE Studios develops and produces scripted and non-scripted series, documentaries, animated programming and feature films, including just released Fighting with My Family, starring Dwayne Johnson.

The studio’s TV shows include “Total Divas” and “Total Bellas” on E!, “Miz & Mrs.” on USA Network, as well as documentaries in partnership with HBO and ESPN. Movie franchises include The Call and The Marine.

“WWE Studios is making a big push in global content across genres and platforms to reach new audiences, super-serve our passionate fans and further establish the WWE brand,” Wilson said in a statement.

Prior to CBS, Levison served as EVP, original programming & production at VH1, overseeing more than 350 hours of original programming and development annually. During that time, Levison ramped up their scripted efforts, developing the critically-acclaimed drama, “Hindsight.” She also launched “Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood,” which ranked as cable’s highest-rated new unscripted series of 2014, and the Nicole Richie soft-scripted series, “Candidly Nicole.”

Previously, Levison helped to launch FishBowl Worldwide Media, a startup production company, where she developed, sold and produced scripted and unscripted series for Bravo, Discovery, TruTV, Animal Planet, Fuse and VH1.