In a bold and expensive move, Netflix has bought the worldwide rights for the hotly anticipated new film Beasts of No Nation for $12m in a busy bidding war.
The film, based on the bestselling novel by Uzodinma Iweala, stars Idris Elba and comes from Cary Fukunaga, acclaimed director of Jane Eyre and the HBO seriesTrue Detective, which won him an Emmy last year. The film has been tipped for Oscars glory in 2016 and the streaming platform is rumoured to be positioning it as a major awards contender.
The deal covers worldwide streaming and theatrical rights, which is essential for an Oscar run, as any film that has been first shown in any format other than the big screen is deemed ineligible by the Academy.
The $6m budget film stars Elba as a warlord in an unnamed west African country, who takes in a child soldier played by newcomer Abraham Attah. It was shot in Ghana last year.
It is the second purchase by a confident Netflix in recent weeks, after the $17m paid for the Jamie Dornan-starring war drama Jadotville, which will debut online but may also get a theatrical run for awards qualification.
Netflix also plans to premiere the sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon later this year as well as the first film from a deal with Adam Sandler, a western comedy called The Ridiculous 6.
Beasts of No Nation has no confirmed release date as yet.