Netflix has flexed its muscle to pick up Endurance, a sci-fi spec written by Dalton Leeb and Nicholas Jacobson-Larson. Simon Kinberg, making his first feature deal since exiting his overall deal at Fox, is producing via his Genre Films production banner.
The package garnered multiple bids, with the deal, struck Friday night, almost hitting seven figures, a massive payday for the newbie writers. Leeb is a commercials actor, while Jacobson-Larson is a composer and conductor who is currently on tour with Michael Bublé. The pair have been writing together for some time — their script Strong Man landed on the 2017 Black List — but this marks the duo’s first sale.
The script was a homegrown package from CAA, which reps both Kinberg and the writers. The agency helped develop the script and put the burgeoning scribes together with Kinberg, the writer-producer behind The Martian and the X-Men franchise, who took the pair under his wing to work on the script further.
But now that Leeb and Jacobson-Larson have made a life-altering deal, both financially and professionally, the duo must fire their agents due to the standoff between the Writers Guild of America and major agencies CAA, WME and UTA.
Plot details for Endurance are being kept close to the vest, but it is described as an original concept centering on a strong female lead. It is also has franchise potential.
Kinberg, who made his directorial debut with last year’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix, is in postproduciton on his follow-up, the spy thriller 355. The movie, starring Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Penélope Cruz, Diane Kruger and Fan Bingbing, is set to be released Jan. 15, 2021.
Kinberg also produced New Mutants, which is set to bow April 3, and is in production on Death of the Nile, the sequel to Murder on the Orient Express.