Dee Rees’ Mudbound, which is an adaptation of Hillary Jordan’s 2008 novel of the same name, debuted at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. It was picked up by Netflix for $12.5 million, per Business Insider, in a move that was influenced by Adam Sandler’s passion for the film, as reported by MarketWatch, after the comedy star watched it alongside Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos.
While there have been many films showing what life was like after WWII, or even what it was like for white Americans returning home from war, the film’s star, Carey Mulligan, noted the lack of stories about Black Americans who helped fight in Europe. Speaking to Screen Daily, she said, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a picture of a Black man fighting in the Second World War.” Mulligan was surprised as she learned more about this period of American history, saying, “I couldn’t imagine these people coming home to a society where they are treated like dirt. It was so shocking.”
Mudbound was nominated for more than 100 awards, including four Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress (Mary J. Blige), Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Original Song, and Best Adapted Screenplay: in the latter category, Dee Rees became the first Black woman nominated for the Adapted Screenplay category, via Deadline, as well the first to be nominated for a writing Oscar since 1972.
Mudbound can be streamed on Netflix.