Netflix has released a trailer for the highly anticipated film from Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre): Beasts of No Nation starring Idris Elba (Thor: The Dark World). Set in an unnamed African country plagued by civil war, the film follows Agu (Abraham Attah), a young boy who sees his parents murdered during the war later to be recruited by a warlord (Elba) to fight for him. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Uzodinma Iweala. The trailer highlights Elba’s performance as the evil and manipulative leader, simply named Commandant.
This is the first film release for Netflix who is diving headfirst into making original films including the sequel Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend, Adam Sandler’s (Pixels) The Ridiculous Six and Pee Wee’s Big Holiday. Beasts of No Nation is set to release October 16 on the streaming service and in select theaters. The major theater chains – Regal, AMC, Cinemark and Carmike – have publicly announced that they would not carry films from the streaming service due to their releasing day and date in theaters and the streaming service.
While the theater owners have rejected Netflix’s move into original films, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the industry responds, especially as the awards season picks up. The film and Elba’s would normally be discussed as major awards contenders a la The Last King of Scotland and Forest Whitaker who won an Oscar for his performance. However, with Netflix being a new player in film releases as well as being the symbol of the digital revolution which many of those in power find threatening to the traditional ways of the industry.
Beasts of No Nation is currently making the festival rounds, premiering at the Telluride Film Festival, Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. Check out the trailer below while you wait for the October 16 release date.