Maybe the major theater chains’ fear of Netflix was justified. The streaming service has become a formidable force in film acquisition over the past year, snagging buzzy awards pics like Beasts of No Nation and big names like Adam Sandler for various projects. Now, Netflix has struck again, making a deal with comedian Ricky Gervais to release his upcoming film Special Correspondents.
Eric Bana stars in the satirical comedy as a radio news reporter who fakes wartime correspondence from within his Manhattan apartment, setting up stages in order to pretend he is embedded abroad. Gervais wrote the film, directs and co-stars.
Netflix plans to release the pic for subscribers sometime next year. Announcing the deal, Gervais said:
Having shaken up the TV industry, Netflix is about to do the same to Hollywood. It’s great to be part of the changing future. Ted Sarandos is the new Godfather of entertainment and he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.
Gervais has been somewhat removed from the cultural zeitgeist of late, but the comedian has been hard at work on his British television series Derek (which Netflix also handles distribution on). Special Correspondents will be the last project he takes on before the highly anticipated Life on the Road, which finds him reprising his most famous role: The Office‘s David Brent.
His deal with Netflix is just the latest in a long line of high-profile acquisitions for the steaming service. In addition to securing True Detective helmer Cary Fukunaga’s Idris Elba-starring war film Beasts of No Nation and signing a four-film deal with Sandler (including his upcoming Ridiculous 6), it has recently snagged Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday, Hannah Fidell’s SXSW-premiered drama 6 Years, porn documentary Hot Girls Wanted, a slate of Leonardo DiCaprio-produced documentaries, a four-pic deal with mumblecore darlings Mark and Jay Duplass and Jamie Dornan’s Jadotville,