EXCLUSIVE: This is all going down right now, but I’m hearing that Netflix is near a deal to acquire Beasts Of No Nation, the new film by True Detective helmer Cary Fukunaga about the experiences of a child soldier fighting in a civil war in an African country. The movie has been screened quietly by WME Global and Craig Emanuel, and numerous bids came in. I’m hearing that Netflix is closing a deal in the vicinity of $12 million for worldwide rights. The big play is for its global streaming service, but the movie will have a theatrical component as well and a vigorous push in Oscar season.
The film, which Fukunaga scripted based on the novel by Uzodinma Iweala, stars Idris Elba as a warlord who takes in the child soldier and systematically strips away his humanity. Pic was backed by Red Crown Productions and Participant Media, and the producers are Daniel Crown, Daniella Taplin Lundberg, Riva Marker, and Amy Kaufman. Fukunaga and Elba are also producers. Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King and Laura Bickford are the executive producers. The ink should be dry on this one before the day is over. It is another statement buy for the disruptive Netflix.
Between this, the Weinstein Company’s pre-buy of The Founder with Michael Keaton starring as fast-food titan Ray Kroc and John Lee Hancock directing, and the Warner Bros deal for the Lynsey Addario memoir It’s What I Do with Steven Spielberg attached to direct Jennifer Lawrence, and it’s fair to say that studios are hungry for movies.