Netflix is continuing to turn traditional media and rollout protocols on their heads by acquiring the rights to the African war drama Beasts of No Nation, USA Today reports. The film—which is widely considered to be a serious Oscar contender for next year—will be released in theaters later this year and also streamed simultaneously on Netflix worldwide.
Beasts of No Nation, which stars Idris Elba, is based on Uzodinma Iweala’s 2005 book of the same name and chronicles the experiences of a young African boy who joins a group of soldiers to fight.
According to Deadline, Netflix paid nearly $12 million for worldwide rights to the movie. The site’s chief content officer is excited about the planned rollout strategy. “We are so proud to bring a film of this caliber exclusively to Netflix members around the world at the same time as it appears in select theaters,” Ted Sarandos said.
The deal is not pleasing everyone, however. Four major movie chains—AMC, Regal, Cinemark and Carmike—told Variety that they will not show the movie in their theaters because the plan violates the traditional “90-day” rule governing when a movie is shown in theaters and when it is made available for home-entertainment release.
In any case, the film’s producers are excited about the unique kind of backing that Netflix brings to their project.
“This movie will have the muscle of Netflix behind it,” said Amy Kaufman, a producer on the film. “It will definitely be seen by a lot more and different kinds of people through Netflix than it would have through a traditional platform.
“It could be a game changer,” Kaufman continued. “This has the potential to change the way people perceive how movies and art are delivered to them.”