The Budget for Red Notice Is Shocking: Why Did Netflix Spend So Much Money?

Netflix paid $200 million on Red Notice, making it their most costly film ever due to its insanely high budget; here’s why.

Rawson Marshall Thurber wrote and directed the action-comedy, which stars Dwayne Johnson as FBI agent John Hartley, who is framed by international criminal The Bishop (Gal Gadot).

In order to bring her down, Hartley is compelled to partner up with Ryan Reynolds’ art thief, Nolan Booth. After Central Intelligence and Skyscraper, this is Thurber and Johnson’s third collaboration, but their first on Netflix.

Shocking Budget for Red Notice

It has long been fashionable in Hollywood to brag about a film’s budget, with the logic that the bigger the budget, the bigger the action and spectacle. While this is true for filmmakers like James Cameron and Christopher Nolan, movie costs can easily spin out of control for a variety of reasons, and the resulting price tag isn’t always reflected on screen. Netflix’s original film budgets have been constantly increasing, with $90 million spent on Bright in 2017, $155 million for Triple Frontier in 2019, and $159 million for The Irishman in 2019. (due to its CGI de-aging). Red Notice is now Netflix’s most expensive film, and there are a variety of reasons for this.

A considerable portion of the budget for Red Notice was spent on obtaining its A-list cast. Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot were all paid $20 million to star in the film, while Netflix paid Thurber $10 million to write and direct it.

Even with huge names, $70 million is a lot of money to spend on four people before a single second of footage is shot. However, it is thought to be a worthwhile investment. Netflix generates interest and attracts customers by acquiring great performers such as Johnson, Renolds, and Gadot for what could otherwise be a dull action-comedy.

While Red Notice has received mixed reviews, it does feature a number of expensive action scenes that would have cost a lot of money to produce. While Ryan Renolds joked about wasting “millions of Netflix’s bucks on laughing and simply messing around on set,” real-life delays arguably added up.

COVID-19, which is pricey, had an impact on Red Notice, with filming being halted completely in the middle of production because of the epidemic. Setbacks and delays cost money and contribute to the overall budget of the film.

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