Netflix continues to deepen its documentary content, adding the Sundance-premiered Icarus to its roster.
The film from Bryan Fogel bowed at the Park City festival Jan. 24 and delves into the Russian doping scandal that plagued the 2016 summer Olympics.
Fogel stars in the film, doping himself to document the changes in his performances while trying to avoid detection. He eventually meets up with the head of Russia’s anti-doping program, Grigory Rodchenkov, who instructs Fogel how to meet his goals – all the while allegations emerged that Rodchenkov ran the large-scale Olympics doping scheme.
“Fogel’s incredible risk-taking has delivered an absorbing real-life thriller that continues to have global reverberations,” said Lisa Nishimura, Netflix VP of original documentaries, in a statement.
The film is an Impact Partners presentation, in association with Chicago Media Project, Diamond Docs and Alex Productions. It was produced by Fogel, Dan Cogan, David Fialkow and Jim Swartz, and was written by Fogel, Mark Monroe and Timothy Rode.
Earlier in January, the SVOD platform announced it a worldwide membership milestone of more than 93 million registered users, pulling in more than $8.3 billion in revenue in 2016. And while the company has doubled down on original content (rolling out 600 hours of original content, with plans to boost that to 1,000 hours in 2017), it’s been particularly prolific in its documentary strategy. Most recently it picked up the Exposure Labs’ Chasing Coral (also screened at Sundance); Kitty Green’s Casting JonBenet; Still Point Picture’s Growing Up Coy; Terra Mater Film Studios along with Vulcan Productions and Leo DiCaprio-produced The Ivory Game, among others. It also committed to 20 new non-scripted series for the coming year.