While Liam Neeson has become well known over the years for his action movie outings, that period of his career is coming to a close soon, with the actor revealing in January that he plans to retire from the genre. However, we’re not done just yet with Neeson playing characters who are thrust into high-stakes situations. Case in point, last year he shot The Ice Road, and that movie has now been acquired by Netflix for a pretty penny.
The virtual European Film Market kicked off today, and among the early news items from the event is that Netflix won the domestic rights to The Ice Road for $18 million. According to Deadline, the streaming service was eager to snatch the Liam Neeson flick after watching a promo, and Netflix was among several interested parties looking to acquire it. It’s unclear how The Ice Road’s release will be handled in other territories, but if you’re living stateside and are interested in checking it out whenever it drops, make sure you have a Netflix subscription.
$18 million is nothing to sneeze that, although it’s certainly not the first time Netflix as dropped a substantial amount of money for just one movie. For instance, last month, the streaming service shelled out $16 million for the Rebecca Hall-led movie Passing. And, of course, Netflix has also become increasingly willing to drop the really bucks on movies it controls from the get-go. Just look at The Gray Man, the upcoming adaptation of the same-named Mark Greaney novel starring Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling, which is being made off a $200 million budget.
Considering that Liam Neeson’s 2011 movie Unknown ended up being one of Netflix’s Top 10 movies at the start of 2021, the streaming service’s leadership was probably wise to pick up The Ice Road. With so few Neeson action movies left to look forward to, one would imagine that’ll result in The Ice Road grabbing a lot of attention on the platform domestically. The Ice Road was produced and financed by CODE Entertainment alongside ShivHans Pictures, and Envision Media Arts also produced.
The Ice Road sees Liam Neeson starring opposite Laurence Fishburne in a story set in far northern regions of Canada. Neeson’s character, an ice driver named Mike, leads a rescue mission over a frozen ocean to save some trapped miners in a collapsed diamond mine, with Fishburne playing Goldenrod, the owner of the trucking company who hires Mike and accompanies him on this journey. The cast also includes Ray McKinnon, Marcus Thomas, Benjamin Walker and Amber Midthunder, while The Punisher’s Jonathan Hensleigh directed and wrote the screenplay. The Ice Road’s filming unfolded across Winnipeg, Île-des-Chênes and Gimli, Manitoba in early 2020.
We’ll have to wait and see how The Ice Road compares to Liam Neeson’s past action endeavors, but stay tuned to CinemaBlend for news regarding its official release date. You’re also welcome to gaze over what Netflix is delivering this month with our detailed guide.