After months of waiting it’s finally here. The first trailer for Beasts of No Nation has arrived. It’s tense, beautiful, and heartbreaking. The film about child soldiers in Africa is based on a book of the same name by Uzodinma Iweala. Cary Fukunaga adapted the book into the screenplay format and is directing as well. Best known for his excellent work on the first season of True Detective, Fukunaga is distributing the movie in a somewhat unorthodox way.
Netflix bought the distribution rights to the film for around $12 million. Now that Netflix has an increasing stable of solid television shows, they’re expanding into original film territory. Beasts of No Nation is the first on the list, with a new Pee Wee Herman movie and an Adam Sandler movie on their way. On October 16th, the film will be released simultaneously in limited theaters and on Netflix. AMC Cinemas, Carmike Cinemas, Cinemark, and Regal Entertainment have boycotted the film, claiming that it’s release on Netflix is violating the traditional 90 day theater exclusivity. That has to be a sharp blow for Fukanaga, as the amount of screens the film will reach is very few.
This type of release doesn’t bode well for the future of the movie theater. More and more people would rather stay home and watch the movie on their laptop. While this may be suitable for binge watching TV shows, a more cinematic effort benefits greatly from a large screen and clear sound. There’s nothing quite like sitting in the dark with a group of strangers and going on a journey together.
Beasts of No Nation stars Idris Elba and is headed to Netflix and select theaters October 16th, 2015.