August 12, 2019

Olivia Wilde's New Movie Deal Just Made Hollywood History

After the success of Booksmart, studios were scrambling at a shot to land the new Olivia Wilde movie. So how did New Line win? 

At one point, around 18 people were bidding on the next Olivia Wilde project. Now, the director has made a record-setting deal with New Line to make a movie called Don't Worry, Darling. We don't know much about the plot except that the drama thriller centers on a 1950s housewife who uncovers a disturbing truth to her perfect life.

Wilde will director and star, and will also produce with Katie Silberman, who wrote Booksmart

Roy Lee and Miri Yoon of Vertigo Entertainment will also produce. 

Catherine Hardwicke is the executive producer.

Credit: Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

Silberman and Wilde will be rewriting the original script for Darling, whose original authors are Shane and Carey Van Dyke. Since Silberman is starting a rewrite right away, the original writers will be paid a "kill fee."

What's a kill fee? 

A kill fee is a payment on a script made to the writer when their screenplay is "killed" or canceled, or when their guaranteed contract step, such as a rewrite or polish, is killed. In this case, the original writers probably had a rewrite step built into their contract, and now that Silberman is going to work on it, they'll have to be paid a percentage of the total payment since that step will no longer commence. 

This is where it gets really interesting...

The really fun part is when it comes to backend. The Hollywood Reporter says that "sources say that the filmmakers and producers stand to get 50 percent in the profit participation, which kicks in when the movie breaks even." 

That means after the movie breaks even, Wilde and her team will take 50 percent of the profits moving forward. 

It looks like everyone is betting on a huge success. New Line likes to champion genre movies and new directors, so this fits directly into their plans. 

These kinds of deals usually eliminate streamers, but Netflix apparently came in with a bid of twenty million dollars as an alternative to the back end offered. Wilde's deal is one of the biggest ever in Hollywood history. The industry hasn't seen one like it since director Todd Phillips's deal for the first Hangover movie in 2009. Phillips was able to score a 30 percent backend deal, but only after Warner Bros. (New Line's parent company) made budget cuts to the film to accommodate Phillps' desire to cast then-non-marquee names as Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis. 

While Wilde passed on Netflix's offer, it's interesting to see how they are willing to compete, since we know they don't usually tell anyone the numbers behind how many people watch their shows and movies.      

Your Comment

17 Comments

I'm wondering lately what this gossip kind of stuff is doing here on nfs? Just like that Nolan nonsense, I mean, this is a website helping indie film makers but I'm seeing more and more of BS about these gigantic Blockbuster movies, be it promotion or just plain gossip about what "insane" deals some people have landed - and I'm not envious, no, I just don't care.

But what I care about is that the few good resources for those of us who look for different ways to get into the industry or take an alternative route of revenue making in this field or just learn the craft etc. also get swamped by the nonsense I'm seeing on a daily basis everywhere. Sigh...

August 12, 2019 at 4:39PM, Edited August 12, 4:40PM

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Gerard M.
1338

Hoping we're able to provide both, free of charge, by servicing a large audience that has diverse interests.

August 12, 2019 at 5:37PM

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Jason Hellerman
Copywriter
Writer

Jason, it's frustrating. I mean, stuff like this isn't about the art of film making, directing, creative decisions or whatever, this and those articles about big budget film/money making (like the avengers article on the front page today) is just a tiny glimpse that barely scratches the surface of what people with money, fame and influence can do. It's handled by lawyers and managers and whatever. It's nothing that any of us ever can make use of and I really doubt that a vast majority of nfs readers are that interested in it - or please just prove me wrong and I'll never voice criticism again.

August 13, 2019 at 12:57AM, Edited August 13, 12:57AM

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Gerard M.
1338

I agree! 99.9% of those on this site will never have the chance to reach NewLine or any other major Hollywood studio/company so it is a bit frustrating.

August 15, 2019 at 1:03PM

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Paolo Mugnaini
Director/DP/Editor
174

I agree. Everything is getting less and less relevant on here and they seem more interested in posting about celebs to get them clicks. Check out Film Jams on Youtube for some real filmmaking tips: https://www.youtube.com/c/FilmJams - happy shooting!

August 12, 2019 at 7:05PM

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Billy Boyd
Director of Plutocracy
35

I think this is very motivating. You can see just how far you can go. And she is a woman. Making history. Amazing.

August 13, 2019 at 11:29AM

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Jan Becker
DP, Director, Producer
502

You've been doing this for how long and are STILL looking for a way in? Fucking loser.

August 16, 2019 at 12:29PM

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Booksmart made 23 mill on a 6mill budget

August 12, 2019 at 9:20PM

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Jason Hellerman
Copywriter
Writer

I totally agree that this kind of article is about money making not about movie making. I can go to Deadline for that and plenty of others... and i come here for the making movies part. If Booksmart did so great then Jason please write about the themes, the style, Olivia Wildes choices or obstacles or what cameras they used. Has there been a mandate there to write more about the business end or is this the part of the biz interesting to you? If this keeps up i will have to start saying no to no film school.

August 13, 2019 at 1:40AM

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Doug d
11

We don’t report on gossip. We value the feedback and we continue to provide content geared towards indie filmmakers with tools, resources and a dive into the creative process. If we ignored explaining and discussing the business aspects of the industry we’d be doing our readers a disservice. No filmmaker can exist without that. We strive to cover what’s happening in the world of filmmaking by offering insight and asking questions that can help inform our community. We are always open to feedback, and it’s helpful to know what specifically our readers want more of rather than just what they want less of.

August 13, 2019 at 11:36AM, Edited August 13, 11:37AM

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George Edelman
Editor-in-Chief
Producer and Screenwriter

I don't see why some people need to get excited about content that doesn't speak to them directly.
If you think the topic isn't for you, don't read it.

August 13, 2019 at 11:59AM

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I think it's rather relevant.

Saying it isn't, would be like me saying, "This article is only talking about white/women/cis-gendered/etc. filmmakers and I'm none of those things, so it's not relevant."

But that's NOT the case. It's relevant even to me, a black, poor, Baltimore based filmmaker, because I learned about some of the terms of an agreement. I never knew there was a kill fee was.

Granted, no African American writer will ever get a $20 million deal (maybe I'll be wrong one day) but it's nice to know about some of the terminology .... just in case Hollywood decides to change its perspective.

August 13, 2019 at 12:04PM

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Justin Gladden
Producer
393

Tyler Perry, John Singlton, Spike..I mean I don't know specific amounts but its a lot. Work hard man and good luck!

August 13, 2019 at 1:17PM

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Jason Morris
Director/Writer/Editor/DP
13

Without the specifics, it's not really relevant. I never said that no AA get multimillion-dollar deals. That's a given.

Good luck to you. Keep working hard and I'm sure you'll make it one day too.

August 14, 2019 at 1:33PM

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Justin Gladden
Producer
393

What a crappy scenario for the Van Dykes. There would be no movie without them and they get screwed in the profit share and writing credit and don't get the chance to do their rewrite.

August 13, 2019 at 12:53PM

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Jason Morris
Director/Writer/Editor/DP
13

I for one would like to say THANK YOU for articles like this and many others covering all aspects of the business.

Covering articles like this, for example was great for me because, first, it was my intention to see "Booksmart", but hadn't yet, so this was a good reminder.

Second, reading an article like this helps distill what scripts & projects decision-makers in LA place value on.

And third, because I didn't even realize that smaller filmmakers where Nolan-style backend deals, so you, that's GREAT to know as well.

I'm actually LESS interested in the DIY, lower-budget filmmaker articles on here. But this is not me voicing an opinion for less of them, it seems like posting diverse articles in addition to Indie stuff is only an added bonus. And that fact that you do post content related to all-things-Hollywood is what keeps me circling your site daily.

In short, great job on EVERYTHING. Please keep articles like this coming : )

August 13, 2019 at 4:59PM, Edited August 13, 5:40PM

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Bru Muller
Director / Writer / Producer
3

I like this article. Thanks for posting. Really appreciate it.

August 15, 2019 at 6:12AM

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kicap
193