Entertainment & Arts

Ricky Gervais to make comedy film for Netflix

Ricky Gervais and Eric Bana Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Gervais and Bana will play journalists who fake their own kidnappings

Ricky Gervais is to make a comedy film for streaming service Netflix that will see the star of The Office and Derek appear alongside Australia's Eric Bana.

The satirical comedy, Special Correspondents, is a remake of a 2009 French film about a struggling radio journalist who files fake war reports.

Gervais will write and direct the film, described by Netflix's Ted Sarandos as a "smart social satire with heart".

"It's great to be part of the changing future," said Gervais.

"Ted Sarandos is the new Godfather of entertainment, and he made me an offer I couldn't refuse."

Netflix's plans to expand into film-making has already seen it sign deals with Adam Sandler, Leonardo DiCaprio and the Weinstein Company.

"Having shaken up the TV industry, Netflix is about to do the same to Hollywood," said Gervais, whose Channel 4 series Derek was streamed by Netflix in the US.

The original Special Correspondents film starred Gerard Lanvin and Gerard Jugnot as a radio journalist and technician in Paris who pretend to report live from Iraq.

Set predominantly in New York, the new version will see Gervais and Bana's characters fake their own kidnappings during a rebel uprising in South America.

Sony Pictures acquired the rights to distribute Gervais's remake internationally at the American Film Market in Santa Monica, California last November.

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