Steven Soderbergh Kicks Off Netflix Relationship with NBA Film ‘High Flying Bird’

20th Century Fox

Netflix has acquired the next film from filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, whose many credits include Ocean’s Eleven, Magic Mike, Traffic, and Erin Brockovich.

The streaming giant has announced that it will be releasing High Flying Bird globally in 2019. The film stars André Holland (Moonlight, Selma) as a sports agent who, during a pro basketball lockout, pitches a rookie basketball client on an intriguing and controversial business proposition.

Deadpool 2 and Atlanta actress Zazie Beetz will also be starring among a cast that includes Melvin Gregg, Sonja Sohn, Zachary Quinto, Kyle MacLachlan and Bill Duke. Soderbergh is directing the film from a screenplay by Tarell Alvin McCrane, who won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for Moonlight.

This will be marking the first collaboration between Soderbergh and Netflix. The filmmaker hinted at much more to come in his statement: “We had several strong options for distributing High Flying Bird, but to borrow the patois of the movie itself, this deal felt like a slam dunk and the perfect way for me to begin my relationship with Netflix as a director.”

Soderbergh has often preferred to tackle a variety of different projects, dabbling from the the mainstream to the more experimental, and has juggled with creative freedom within the studio system. Netflix should fit him like a glove, with it’s reportedly ample creative leeway and speedy production process.

As usual, Soderbergh doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. The filmmaker delivered iPhone-shot thriller Unsane earlier this year, is currently in post-production on the aforementioned High Flying Bird, and is in pre-production on The Laundromat, a drama based on the Panama Papers set to star Meryl Streep and Gary Oldman. Netflix is reportedly eying The Laundromat as well.

Andre Holland in ‘Castle Rock’ | Hulu
Zazie Beets in ‘Deadpool 2’ | 20th Century Fox