Netflix has acquired streaming rights to a pair of Fox Digital Studio films, “How to Be a Man,” a dark comedy starring Gavin McInnes, and “ETXR,” a drama about an electronic-dance music DJ trying to communicate with aliens.
“How to Be a Man” will debut March 15 on Netflix worldwide, followed by “ETXR” March 31. Both 90-minute pics also will be available for purchase via Amazon’s Instant Video, Microsoft Xbox and Apple iTunes.
Since it was formed in 2009, Fox Digital Studio has produced mainly short-form and half-hour series for digital distributors. David Worthen Brooks, senior VP of production for Fox Digital Studio, called the films “back-door pilots” — with the studio planning to turn the titles into episodic series next. Both films “are set up a world with a character who can live on half-hour episodic format,” Worthen Brooks said.
FDS doesn’t have distribution partners for either prospective series yet. For “How to Be a Man” the studio is targeting subscription VOD services or cable networks; Worthen Brooks noted that it’s “not a network show,” given that McInnes’ R-rated brand of humor isn’t compatible with broadcast TV standards. “ETXR,” meanwhile, has garnered interest from a “large global advertiser” that is interested in financing the series for branded entertainment.
“How to Be a Man” stars McInnes (pictured, above), one of the founders of Vice magazine who left the company in 2008. He plays Mark, an ex-comic who finds a lump in his “man boob” and — fearful that he’s dying — hires a cameraman named Bryan (Liam Aiken) to document lessons for Mark’s unborn son on video.
“ETXR” is about a struggling EDM DJ, Bix (Caleb Hunt), contacted by a former classmate (Curtis Garret) who’s built a device he believes can communicate with extra-terrestrial beings — and wants Bix’s help understanding the sonic transmissions.
Netflix has acquired programming from Fox Digital Studio before, including original series “The Ropes” from Vin Diesel and Walt Becker’s “Bad Samaritans” and the film “Shotgun Wedding.” FDS also has distributed content through Yahoo, DirecTV, Crackle, YouTube, College Humor and multiple digital storefronts.
Watch the trailer for “How to Be a Man”: