Netflix has announced release dates for its first batch of original feature films, including Cary Fukunaga's "Beasts of No Nation," Adam Sandler's "The Ridiculous Six" and Judd Apatow's "Pee-wee's Big Holiday."
"Beasts" is adapted and directed by Fukunaga from Uzodinma Iweala's 2005 novel about a child soldier conscripted by mercenaries in an unnamed West African country. It will be released on Netflix and in select U.S. theaters Oct. 16, putting it squarely in awards season.
The film, which stars Idris Elba and Abraham Attah, is slated to open against "Bridge of Spies," "Crimson Peak," Goosebumps" and "The Bronze."
"Ridiculous Six," the first of four new Sandler comedies that will be available only on Netflix, will hit the streaming service Dec. 11. Starring, produced and co-written by Sandler and directed by his frequent collaborator Frank Coraci, "Six" is a sendup of western movies. The film came under fire earlier this year for its portrayal of Native Americans.
"Big Holiday," a collaboration between Pee-wee Herman creator/portrayer Paul Reubens and comedy mogul Apatow, will debut on Netflix sometime in March.
Netflix also pushed back the release of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend," its first announced foray into making and distributing original features. The sequel will be released on select Imax screens, in China and on Netflix in the first quarter of 2016. It had been scheduled to debut Aug. 28.
Netflix is partnering with Bleecker Street to distribute "Beasts" and the Weinstein Co. for "Green Legend." The limited theatrical footprints for the two films underscores the reluctance of major theater chains to screen movies that are opening simultaneously on home video.