Cannes 2024: Netflix Acquires Palme d'Or Favorite 'Emilia Pérez,' Legal Thriller 'Monsanto' With Glen Powell, Laura Dern & Anthony Mackie

The 2024 Cannes Film Festival may be winding down, but the Cannes market is still heating up.  IndieWire reports that Netflix currently has the splashiest deals of this week so far, with the streamer picking up the US and UK rights for Jacques Audriard‘s Palme d’Or favorite, “Emilia Pérez.”  And that’s not the only thing Netflix snagged today. The streaming giant also acquired John Lee Hancock‘s legal thriller “Monsanto,” which has Glen PowellLaura Dern, and Anthony Mackie attached to star.

READ MORE: ‘Emilia Pérez’: Zoe Saldaña Signs In Jacques Audriard’s Audacious Movie Musical [Cannes]

But let’s focus on Audriard’s latest film first. Along with Andrea Arnold‘s ‘Bird” and Sean Baker‘s “Anora,” “Emilia Pérez” is one of the favorites to win big at the Cannes award ceremony this weekend (although Coralie Fargeat‘s “The Substance” also vies for the fest’s top prize as a dark horse pick). Sure, several other premieres sent critics’ hearts aflutter at Cannes’ 2024 edition, but Audriard’s new movie did so the most. The genre and gender-bending film is the talk of the Croisette, with many praising its all-star cast that includes Karla Sofia GascónSelena GomezZoe Saldaña, and Édgar Ramirez. The musical crime comedy follows a lawyer tasked with assisting an escaped Mexican cartel leader under sex reassignment surgery to evade the authorities and affirm her gender.  

Does that sound like the usual fare one finds on Netflix?  Not exactly, which makes the $12 million deal the streamer made for Audriard’s pic even more surprising.  Still, it looks like Netflix wants a Palme d’Or, and “Emilia Pérez” is a great chance for the company to grab one, especially given Audriard’s previous success at Cannes.  Netflix’s deal also gives them rights to some other territories beyond the US and UK, which means it’s likely the film will get a limited theatrical release before it hits the streamer.  And with any luck, “Emilia Pérez” will hit Netflix before 2024 comes to a close (and that’s a guarantee if the movie wins the Palme d’Or).

But Netflix’s other major acquisition at Cannes should garner just as much buzz and Audriard’s latest. “Monsanto” sounds like a legal thriller in the vein of “Michael Clayton,” “Dark Waters,” and “The Insider,” based on the true story of an upstart lawyer who takes on the American chemical corporation. Powell will star in Hancock’s pic, an indicator that Netflix is high on Richard Linklater‘s “Hit Man” ahead of June 7 premiere on the streamer and wants to stay in the Glen Powell business.  That’s not a bad idea either, considering Powell is currently on a Hollywood ascent for the ages.

But the actor isn’t the only thing “Monsanto” has going for it. Dern herself is already winner for Netflix, capturing a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Noah Baumbach‘s 2019 feature “Marriage Story.” And Mackie has star power in his own right, which will be on full-blast when “Captain America: New World Order” bows next year.  Michael WisnerAlexandra Duparc, and Ned Benson co-write the “Monsanto” script with Hancock.  As for Netflix’s deal for the movie?  It wasn’t cheap, with Deadline reporting it sold for $34 million; steep, but also a vote of confidence for Hancock and his film.

So are these purchases a coup for Netflix? If Audriard’s ‘Emilia Pérez’ wins big this weekend, it’s an unequivocal yes. But thanks to their starry casts, both of these titles will be likely winners for the streamer. Now the question becomes if anyone will one-up Netflix before Cannes comes to a close…