Variety reports that Netflix has put down nearly $20 million at the Cannes Film Festival for the worldwide rights to Bubbles, a stop-motion animated film about Michael Jackson’s pet chimpanzee.
The film was co-directed by Taika Waititi (The Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Thor: Ragnarok) and Mark Gustafson (The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio), from a script by unknown screenwriter Isaac Adamson that ranked near the top of Hollywood’s 2015 Black List.
Bubbles was produced by Dan Harmon’s Starburns Industries, which also financed the stop-motion dramedy Anomalisa — a Best Animated Feature nominee at the 2015 Academy Awards.
This is just the start of Netflix’s big week at Cannes — its first competition film, Bong Joon-ho’s Okja, premieres tomorrow, followed by Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories on Sunday. The streaming platform will likely do some more shopping as well, as it has made a tradition of at all the major film festivals at this point: at Sundance this year, Netflix nabbed 14 new features for its service, and at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall it bought eight.