Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.
It was only a matter of time before Netflix released its first original movie. And, boy is it a doozy. The online streaming giant announced Monday, that Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend, will be available for streaming on August 28, 2015, as well as for viewing in select IMAX theaters.
The sequel to Ang Lee's high-flying martial arts classic will be directed by Yuen Woo-ping, who choreographed the Matrix trilogy and Kill Bill, with Michelle Yeoh returning as the film's heroine, Yu Shu Lien. But, details on the film feel secondary here.
Netflix is taking direct aim at Hollywood's traditional release model — a fact not lost on Harvey Weinstein, whose company is partnering with Netflix for the film. "The moviegoing experience is evolving quickly and profoundly, and Netflix is unquestionably at the forefront of that movement,” Weinstein said in a statement.
And, Netflix doesn't plan on stopping there. According to the company, this will be the first of many major films that will be released in this way. By making the film available for streaming on the same day it debuts in theaters, Netflix is taking direct aim at Hollywood's windowing system, in which a studio releases a film in theaters, and makes it available for streaming months later.
“These are two different experiences, like going to a football game and watching a football game on TV," said Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer. "What I am hoping is that it will be a proof point that the sky doesn’t fall."
Netflix has already changed the television game with their all-at-once release strategy for original shows like Orange Is the New Black, and House of Cards. And, while a real paradigm shift is still a long ways away, we're guessing there's a couple of extra sweaty brows in Hollywood today. (The Hollywood Reporter)