Netflix has secured a deal with actor/director Angelina Jolie Pitt to produce and direct an Original film adaptation of First They Killed My Father. It's based on a memoir by author Loung Ung about her ordeal as a child soldier for the infamous Khmer Rouge period in Cambodia, when nearly 2 million people were killed. Jolie Pitt said that she was "deeply affected" by the book, and she and Ung spent several years adapting it for the screen. She noted that Netflix took on a project that would normally be a tough sell. "Films like this are hard to watch, but important to see."
Netflix recently announced that it would produce Beasts Of No Nation starring Idris Elba, another film focusing on child soldiers. (Joli Pitt's directorial debut, Unbroken, was also a war pic.) Though it might seem like a trend, Neflix is nabbing material that Hollywood might find too difficult for audiences. It's also no doubt hunting for awards and prestige -- original documentaries The Square and Virunga were both nominated for Oscars. Similar Netflix projects include What Happened, Miss Simone and Jadotville, another war drama starring Jamie Dornan. Don't give it too much credit, though -- the streaming company is also producing no less than four Adam Sandler movies.