Icarus was a groundbreaking, award-winning, culturally significant film for Netflix.
However considering the financial situation the genre’s biggest fan, Ted Sarandos, changed his mind to release its sequel.
At Telluride, Netflix picked Sr. – documentary about Robert Downey Jr.’s father – above Icarus: The Aftermath, the highly received follow-up to the Russia sports doping documentary Icarus, one of Netflix’s most significant films.
When filmmaker Bryan Fogel’s Icarus won the Oscar for best documentary in 2018, it was Netflix’s first victory for any form of feature. The streamer has spent millions of dollars lobbying for major prizes and it finally broke through in a big category.
This was a film that Vladimir Putin and his associates despised, which contributed to Russia’s exclusion from the Olympics.
According to insiders, Netflix purchased the film at Sundance in 2017 for a then-hefty $5 million, a day after the F.B.I. was investigating whether a cyberattack that crippled the festival that year was linked to the fact that Icarus opened the day before.
However, Netflix passed on the sequel because it’s just not worth it, as it would have been five years ago when Netflix was still establishing its content credentials.
Icarus: The Aftermath will hopefully find a home. Netflix would be amenable to a licence arrangement once it finds a distributor elsewhere.