After working on so many original series and original films, Netflix is taking another important step with its content strategy by collaborating directly with independent filmmakers on movies that will debut worldwide with day-and-date releases on the the streaming service and in theaters.
As first reported by Deadline, Netflix has invested in under $2 million in three films — “Rebirth” by writer/director Karl Mueller (“Mr. Jones”), “The Most Hated Woman in America,” produced by Max Handelman and Elizabeth Banks through their Brownstone Productions; and an untitled film set against the backdrop of electronic music festival from the Walter Robot, a creative studio founded by artist Bill Barminski and director Christopher Louie.
Thriller “Rebirth” follows a man on a weekend wellness retreat. Cast members have yet to be announced. It is written by Karl Mueller and produced by Ross Dinerstein and Campfire. It will come out in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to Deadline, along with the electronic music film, which stars Sarah Hyland, Graham Phillips, and Chris D’Elia.
Written and directed by Tommy O’Haver (“An American Crime”), “The Most Hated Woman in America” will star Melissa Leo as Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the American atheist activist who was murdered in 1995. It is slated to debut in 2016.
Day-and-date theatrical and streaming release is shaping up to be a key component of Netflix’s original film strategy. Yesterday, the company announced that “Beasts of No Nation,” starring Idris Elba, will get a day-and-date release on October 16. “War Machine,” the Netflix original from Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment (which also stars Pitt), will get a day-and-date release in 2016. “ Both of those films cost exponentially more individually than the three indie features, with “Beasts of No Nation” coming in at around $12 million and “War Machine” carrying a budget as high as $60 million.
Acquisitions from independent filmmakers aren’t new for Netflix. The streaming service previously inked a deal with the Duplass brothers that will bring four of their independent feature films to Netflix, starting with“Creep,” directed by Patrick Brice, which will come out on the streaming service this July 14. Per the terms of the deal, the brothers produce, while Netflix finances. Unlike Netflix’s new indie acquisitions, the Duplass brothers’ films will receive a limited theatrical release and be available for digital purchase prior to joining Netflix’s lineup.