Netflix announced yesterday that it's making an original movie.
The film, a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, will release next August on Netflix and in select IMAX theaters, reports the Wall Street Journal. The film is being produced by The Weinstein Company, but it is not being directed by Ang Lee, the two-time Academy Award winner who won his first Best Director Oscar for his work on the original Crouching Tiger.
What's most noteworthy about Netflix's move is that it's skipping the middleman of a theatrical release and going straight to home viewing, as Deadline notes. Certainly there are plenty of movies that do that, but they're usually low-budget films, and definitely not films with the earning-potential of a Crouching Tiger sequel.
That Netflix is a "disruptive force," as Deadline writes, is clear at this point. It's provided TV networks stiff competition with original series like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. But it has also provided those networks with an alternate revenue stream and a way for consumers to catch up on shows they maybe haven't seen in one go. Will it do something similar for the film industry? Only time will tell, but the site's ambitions are clearly sky-high.