Idris Elba Heads To Netflix For Beasts Of No Nation

Cary Fukunaga's warlord drama finds a home

Idris Elba Heads To Netflix For Beasts Of No Nation

by Phil de Semlyen |
Published on

Netflix’s pedal-to-the-metal drive for fresh programming and movies continues apace. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the streaming network is in final talks to pick up the global rights to Idris Elba-starring drama Beasts Of No Nation in a $12 million deal.

Adapted from Uzodinma Iweala’s 2005 novel, Beasts Of No Nation breaks down the dehumanising of child soldiers through the eyes of a young boy called Agu. Elba is playing the West African warlord who cajoles, manipulates and mentors the child into bearing arms on his behalf. Director Cary Fukunaga, whose Sin Nombre was an impressive calling card for unsparing social drama, has been behind the camera on this one, with Elba lending his skills as a producer.

Anyone following Netflix’s drive for global domination will know that theatrical distribution is a barrier the service is still feeling its way around. With aspirations to get its feature films into cinemas day-and-date, Netflix is treading carefully, hopefully of avoiding upsetting the apple cart with powerful exhibitors. Its recent acquisitions and commissions – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend** in particular – are aimed at the independent audiences and Beasts Of No Nation should follow in its footsteps. Whether it’ll be a day-and-date with online and in cinemas remains to be seen, but an awards season release looks likely and theatrical distribution will be required to get it in the reckoning.

As for ‘Dris, there’s plenty on the schedule. He’ll be appearing next alongside Sean Penn in The Gunman, followed by Avengers: Age Of Ultron on April 24 and Second Coming on May 8. There’s also another series of Luther (“Loooootha!”) and work on **Poe Must Die to squeeze into his busy schedule.

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