Since being released yesterday, Idris Elba‘s new movie, Concrete Cowboy, is already killing it on Netflix. The Ricky Staub-directed picture generated significant buzz at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, and was picked up by the streamer a few months ago. Subscribers are responding well to it, too, as it’s currently sitting in second place on the platform’s most-watched movies in the US chart.
Elba stars as Harp, father to a 15-year-old (Stranger Things‘ Caleb McLaughlin) who joins him in Philadelphia and learns about urban cowboys. With a cast that also includes When They See Us‘ Jharrel Jerome and Method Man, Cowboy is Staub’s directional debut, and is adapted from the novel Ghetto Cowboy. Critics have so far been drawn to the unique premise, while Elba seems to be providing one of his typically solid turns.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that a Western, even one as unusual as Concrete Cowboy, has performed well for the online streaming giant. The likes of Godless and The Ridiculous 6 have previously been successes for the company, and Elba also tends to draw in viewers. Indeed, the actor has been pretty busy recently, from turning up in Cats to lending his talents to Hobbs & Shaw, as well as continuing to work regularly in television.
Idris Elba can next be seen in The Suicide Squad, and there’s still talk of a Luther feature being on the cards. Based on the responses to Concrete Cowboy, though, which has been praised for exploring a little-known side of American life, it appears that Netflix have acquired one of the most popular festival hits of 2020. And with theatrical distribution remaining sparse, it’s shaping up to be an excellent investment for them.