Netflix has shared the suspenseful, gripping first teaser trailer for the site’s first original film, Beasts of No Nation. Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) wrote and directed the adaptation of Uzodinma Iweala’s book about a West African child soldier named Agu (Abraham Attah) who is mentored by a violent and ruthless warlord named Commandant, played by Golden-Globe winner Idris Elba.
The trailer is an intense look at the older man’s attempts to transform Agu into a killing machine, pushing the child to murder a captured man who allegedly killed the boy’s entire family. The teaser also shows Commandant’s manipulation of the boy’s heartbreak. “That is your family’s blood,” he says, pointing to the perpetrator kneeling and screaming before the kid. “Chop him.”
The film will premiere on Netflix worldwide and in Landmark Theatres in the U.S. on October 16th; it will be available in 19 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Seattle. Prior to Beasts appearing on the streaming service and in theaters, it’s set to screen at both the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals in September.
Though Netflix has become a major player in the television market thanks to shows such as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black (and has received no less than 34 Emmy nominations this year), Beasts of No Nation will be the site’s first foray into video-on-demand content that streams on the same day as a film’s theatrical release. It will also be releasing the upcoming Keith Richards documentary Under the Influence, set to premiere on September 18th.