True Detective filmmaker Cary Fukunaga made the headlines earlier this week when he levelled on his decision to exit New Line’s long-gestating It remake. Part of that came down to creative clashes with the studio, but there’s also the small matter of Fukunaga’s soon-to-be-released war drama, Beasts of No Nation.
Centering on Abraham Attah’s young orphan, Agu, the Netflix original drama takes place in western Africa – a region of the continent torn apart by a brutal civil war. After his parents are massacred in the battle, Attah’s character is taken under the wing of a seemingly amicable commander (Idris Elba), though it isn’t long before his true, dark motivations are revealed. Hailed as a savior and feared as a corrupt criminal, Elba’s Commandant is an amoral war criminal who specializes in tutoring child soldiers to carry out his evil bidding.
A harrowing, all-too-real set-up, and as today’s new full-length trailer attests, Fukunaga will be bringing the tale to life in stunning fashion. From the sun-kissed hills of Africa to the haunting shots of mist rolling down of the mountain, Beasts of No Nation appears to boast much of the stylistic tendencies that helped make the original season of True Detective so special. Couple this with gravitas of Elba’s character and you have a drama that you likely won’t be able to take your eyes off – even if you want to.
After making a remarkable early impression across the festival circuit – primarily at Venice and TIFF – Beasts of No Nation has quickly become one of our most anticipated projects of the fall season. It’ll premiere in select theaters and on Netflix on October 16.