Many were understandably wary about Netflix getting into the original series game. The Golden Age of Television was alive and kicking, but could a streaming service really provide formidable competition in that arena? They could indeed, as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black quickly took off, and now with a number of original shows under its belt, Netflix is expanding into original films—and it’s probably best not to underestimate them this time.
Today, Netflix announced premiere dates for a number of highly anticipated original features. The child soldier drama Beasts of No Nation, from director Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) and starring Idris Elba, was acquired by the streaming giant in March, and it will debut in all Netflix territories and in select theaters on October 16th of this year. The prestigious drama is getting a theatrical release in addition to the streaming release in order to qualify for awards recognition, so this will also be Netflix’s first Oscar play.
Additionally, the comedy The Ridiculous Six—the first of four original Adam Sandler films—will be released exclusively on Netflix Friday, December 11th of this year. The Western spoof features a pretty extensive cast that includes Terry Crews, Jorge Garcia, Taylor Lautner, Rob Schneider, Luke Wilson, and Nick Nolte.
As for 2016 releases, Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, starring Paul Reubens and Joe Manganiello and produced by Judd Apatow, will arrive sometime in March, while Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend will be released theatrically in China and on IMAX and Netflix globally in Q1 2016.