Thanks to their popular original series like House of Cards and Stranger Things, Netflix has become one of the premier providers of entertainment over the past few years. Now that the streaming service has left their mark on television, they’re starting to expand their own film library. They made a splash last year with the acclaimed drama Beasts of No Nation and have since acquired the rights to numerous buzzed-about projects. These include David Ayer’s Bright, the Brad Pitt vehicle War Machine, and Duncan Jones’s sci-fi passion project Mute.
There’s plenty of incentive for filmmakers to pursue Netflix as a viable option for their works. Recently, Netflix struck a deal that would allow their original movies to contend for the Oscars, meaning that the scenario is a win-win for everyone involved. The onus is on the Academy to nominate the films, of course, but directors can still compete for gold while getting their latest projects in front of a wider audience than a typical limited theatrical release can. As the film division of Netflix continues to grow, they’ve now added another intriguing project starring Jake Gyllenhaal.
Per Deadline, Netflix is nearing an agreement to purchase the rights for The Helicopter Heist, a fact-based drama that Gyllenhaal is also producing. Based on a manuscript by Swedish author Jonas Bonnier, it tells the story of a 2009 helicopter robbery in Västberga. The perpetrators used a stolen Bell 206 Jet Ranger to land on the roof of a building and steal more than $5 million from a G4S cash service depot. It marked the first time a robbery involving a helicopter was done in Sweden. Though police were unable to use their own helicopters to pursue due to bomb threats, the seven thieves were eventually caught and sentenced.
Other than that, details are unknown for the time being. No director or screenwriter is attached at this juncture, though that could change shortly now that Helicopter Heist is close to finding a distributor. Gyllenhaal has established himself as an acting force the last few years with several dynamite performances in films like Prisoners, Nightcrawler, and Nocturnal Animals. With him on board, there should be no issue finding a talented filmmaker to call the shots. It will be interesting to see what role Gyllenhaal ends up taking. He’s shown tremendous range over the course of his career, so he could easily play one of the robbers or a police officer.
Crime remains one of the more popular film genres out there, and audiences have shown time and time again that they will support a well-made heist film. Viewers have seen several kinds of robberies carried out on-screen, but Helicopter Heist has the potential to be something different with its unique setting. And with a star like Gyllenhaal headlining, chances are it’s worth checking out whenever it premieres.
We’ll keep you updated on Helicopter Heist as more information becomes available.