Amazon Studios is taking aim at rival Netflix with their first big-screen acquisition, Elvis & Nixon. The film, which was met with great buzz at the Cannes Film Festival, has been acquired by the internet powerhouse as their first theatrical release.
The film is a recreation of the legendary 1970 meeting between the King of Rock and Roll and the leader of the free world, and features Michael Shannon (99 Homes) and Kevin Spacey (Netflix’s House of Cards, appearing here as a real-life president), respectively, in the title roles. The film was directed by Liza Johnson (Return) from a script by Joey Sagal, Hanala Sagal, and actor Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride). Colin Hanks (TV’s Fargo), Alex Pettyfer (Magic Mike), and Johnny Knoxville (Jackass: The Movie) co-star.
To keep the peace with theater owners, the film won’t premiere on the Amazon platform, but will be release in theaters first. Bleeker Street is handing the domestic rollout. In contrast, Netflix announced their acquisition of Brad Pitt’s War Machine earlier this month, but the streaming giant is planning only a limited theatrical release, with a wide release online.
Amazon has also reported recent deals with directors Jim Jarmusch (Only Lovers Left Alive) and Terry Gilliam (of Monty Python fame). While the details of the Jarmusch project are still under wraps, it looks like Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote might finally be emerging from 20 years in development hell.