5 Netflix deals that prove it wants to be taken seriously in the movie business

Beasts of no nation netflix focus featuresNetflixIdris Elba in ‘Beasts Of No Nation’

First Netflix made their mark on original television programing with shows like “Orange Is The New Black” and “House of Cards” finding rabid fans and critical acclaim, now they’re setting their sights on feature films.

Monday, reports came that Netflix is nearing a deal to nab the much anticipated next film from Cary Fukunaga (“True Detective”), “Beasts Of No Nation.”

The film stars Idris Elba and was shot in Ghana last year for $US6 million.

The news reveals Netflix’s willingness to go up against the big boys as reports say it outbid the likes of Fox Searchlight and Focus to acquire the film, paying nearly $US12 million.

Based on the novel by Uzodinma Iweala, the story follows a child soldier who joins a militant group from an unnamed West African country that’s led by a demonic warlord (Elba). The story and talent behind it have all the makings for an award season contender, but that would mean Netflix would have to release the film theatrically before putting it on their streaming platform to be eligible for Oscar. Currently, Netflix has not divulged their release plans for the film.

“Beasts Of No Nation” is only the latest movie acquisition from Netflix. Here’s a breakdown of other first-run films you’ll be seeing from the streaming site in the coming years.

A “Crouching Tiger” sequel

Crouching tiger hidden dragon sequelRico Torres for NetflixMichelle Yeoh stars in the ‘Crouching Tiger’ sequel.

Last September news brokethat Netflix inked a deal to release a sequel to Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” Titled, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend,” the film will be released day-and-date in theatres and Netflix on August 28. Details have not come out about the sequel but we’re planning for lots of swords and people floating on branches.

Adam Sandler Movies

Shortly after the “Crouching Tiger” news, Netflix announced it signed Adam Sandler to afour-picture dealexclusively for streaming. Sandler will both produce and star in the films, which are likely to be similar in budget to his past films (ranging from $US40 million-$US80 million).

Nothing is out yet on what zany storylines we’ll get from Sandler, but with this quote from the iconic comedian the day the deal was announced we can bet it will be filled with his classic juvenile humour: “I immediately said yes for one reason and one reason only. Netflix rhymes with Wet Chicks. Let the streaming begin!!!”

Duplass Deal

Netflix came out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival making adealwith one of the fest’s most successful alumni, Mark and Jay Duplass. Like Sandler, the brothers got a four-picture deal but their titles will stream and get limited theatrical windows. If you’ve ever seen the Duplass’ HBO series “Togetherness,” or any of their intimate low-budget movies (“Jeff, Who Lives At Home,” “Cyrus”), we’re pretty confident their four films will cost as much as one of Sandler’s.

New Pee-Wee Movie

After years of rumours of a new Pee-Wee Herman movie,last OctoberPaul Reubens began making the rounds confirming there was in fact a new movie in the works and Judd Apatow was producing it. Thenin Decembercame word that Netflix will be the home for the film. No word yet on when it will show up on the site, but, if you need your Pee-Wee fix, Netflix currently haseverything from “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” to his previous movies. So throw on your red bowtie and start the binge.

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