With its online-first strategy, Netflix has changed the way people watch with TV shows -- now it wants to do the same with movies. Cary Fukunaga's Beasts of No Nation has hit the streaming service today, marking an important milestone in the movie industry by becoming one of the first feature films to debut in theaters and online at the same time. Based on the novel by Uzodinma Iweala, Beasts of No Nation is a war drama that tells the story of a 14-year-old child soldier who loses his family and is recruited to fight under the command of a guerilla warlord played by Idris Elba.
Netflix's decision to debut Beasts in theaters is a calculated move. In order to become eligible for an Oscar, the company must ensure that movies appear online "on or after the first day" they are shown in theatres. The film will play in Landmark theaters in the US and at Curzon's arthouse locations in the UK from today, ticking all of the requisite boxes.
While Netflix's first feature film will deliver an emotional impact, the streaming giant has a wide range of other movies in development. It's teamed up with Adam Sandler for four new original pictures, signed Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan for war thriller Jadotville and is also working on a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.