×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Netflix Makes Another Bigscreen Splash With ‘Beasts of No Nation’

In a move to bolster its awards season status, Netflix has bought worldwide rights to Cary Fukunaga’s African war drama “Beasts of No Nation,” starring Idris Elba, for its global streaming service and theatrical release.

Netflix paid nearly $12 million for the rights.

According to insiders, the media distributor is planning a strong Oscar push for the feature, which is based on the bestselling novel by Uzodinma Iweala. The story follows the journey of a boy who is forced to join a group of soldiers in an unnamed West African country.

Netflix did not disclose the timing of the release but an  awards season campaign would require that the theatrical release not be preceded by the streaming release.

The rules of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences state: “Films that in any version, receive their first public exhibition or distribution in any manner other than as a theatrical motion picture release will not be eligible for Academy Awards in any category.Nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution includes but is not limited to Broadcast and cable television; PPV/VOD; DVD distribution; Internet transmission. Motion pictures released in such nontheatrical media on or after the first day of their Los Angeles County qualifying run remain eligible.”

Netflix used a day-and-date release for two of its documentaries from the last two years — “The Square” and “Virunga” — and both were nominated for Oscars for Best Documentary Feature.

Participant Media and Red Crown produced “Beasts of No Nation,” a $6 million drama shot last year in Ghana.

Fukunaga is the award-winning director of “True Detective” and “Sin Nombre.” He also wrote the “Beasts” script and produced along with Amy Kaufman, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Riva Marker and Dan Crown.

Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King of Participant exec produced along with documentary filmmaker Bill Benenson and Laura Bickford.

Elba, the star of BBC’s hit series “Luther,” recently starred in the African-set drama “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” which grossed only $8 million domestically.

Netflix made a similar announcement two weeks ago about acquiring the worldwide rights to upcoming war thriller “Jadotville,” starring “Fifty Shades of Grey” actor Jamie Dornan, across all its territories in 2016. The film is slated to go into production in April, shooting in Ireland and South Africa.

Netflix acquired all rights to “Jadotville” for an estimated $17 million and will debut the film on its Internet subscription VOD services. In addition, the company may also release the film theatrically for a qualifying run.

Netflix’s other movie projects include a deal with Adam Sandler for four films and an agreement with Weinstein Co. and Imax to debut the sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” simultaneously in theaters and on Netflix in August. Netflix also reached a deal in January with Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass to produce four movies, which will have a brief theatrical release before becoming available exclusively on Netflix.

The deal for “Beasts of No Nation” was brokered by WME Global with Loeb and Loeb.

Fukunaga is repped by WME and Anonymous Content.

The news about “Beasts of No Nation” as first reported by Deadline.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Backstage in Puglia del film SPACCAPIETRE:

    'Gomorrah' Star Salvatore Esposito Set For De Serio Twins' 'The Stonebreaker'

    Salvatore Esposito, the Italian star who plays young mob boss Genny Savastano in Italy’s hit TV series “Gomorrah,” will soon be hitting the big screen toplining upcoming drama “The Stonebreaker” by twin directorial duo Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio, who are known internationally for “Seven Acts of Mercy.” The De Serio twins are now in post on “Stonebreaker” [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    Box Office: 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Tops 'Joker,' 'Zombieland'

    “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is on track to give Disney another first place finish after scoring $12.5 million in Friday’s domestic ticket sales. If estimates hold, the Angelina Jolie-led film should finish the weekend with about $38 million — well below earlier forecasts but enough to top holdover “Joker” and fellow newcomer “Zombieland: Double Tap.” [...]

  • Maelle Arnaud

    Lumière Chief Programmer Maelle Arnaud: 'Film History Doesn't Have Parity'

    LYON, France   — As the Lumière Institute’s head programmer since 2001, Maelle Arnaud helped launched the Lumière Festival in 2009 and has watched it grow in international esteem over the decade that followed. This year, the festival ran 190 films across 424 screenings in theaters all over town. The festival will come to a [...]

  • Girl with Green Eyes

    Talking Pictures TV: Bringing the Past Back to Life in the U.K.

    LYON, France – Since its launch in 2015, Talking Pictures TV has become the fastest-growing independent channel in the U.K. with a growing library of British film and TV titles that span five decades, according to founder Noel Cronin. Noel Cronin attended the Lumière Festival’s International Classic Film Market (MIFC) in Lyon, France, where he [...]

  • Wings of Desire

    German Heritage Sector Applauds Increased Digitization, Preservation Funding

    LYON, France  — Germany’s film heritage sector is celebrating a new federal and state-funded initiative launching in January that will provide €10 million ($11.15 million) a year towards the digitization and preservation of feature films. Rainer Rother, the artistic director of the Deutsche Kinemathek, outlined the plan at a panel discussion at the Lumière Festival’s [...]

  • 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    Film Review: 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    In one of the intermittent revealing moments in “QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight,” a documentary about the films of Quentin Tarantino that’s like a familiar but tasty sundae for Quentin fans, we see Tarantino on the set of “Pulp Fiction,” shooting the iconic dance contest at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. As John Travolta and Uma [...]

  • Zombieland Double Tap

    Why Emma Stone Was Haunted by Fear of Vomiting While Shooting 'Zombieland: Double Tap'

    SPOILER ALERT: The following story contains a slight spoiler for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” The zombie slayers are back! Ten years after Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin first killed dead people walking in “Zombieland,” they’ve reunited for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” “You take stock of your life a little bit,” Stone says of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content