Netflix continues to flex its muscles as a movie distributor following its breakthrough post-Super Bowl premiere of The Coverfield Paradox on Sunday, something that was reported mere hours before the Super Bowl ad announcing the early release. The streaming network has now picked up the sci-fi thriller EXTINCTION from Universal Pictures to stream on Netflix after the studio pulled it from its release schedule.
Directed by Ben Young, helmer of the Australian serial killer thriller Hounds of Love, the original sci-fi thriller stars Michael Peña from Ant-Man and Lizzy Caplan from Masters of Sex.
Netflix is not resting on its laurels, quickly releasing The Cloverfield Paradox after buying the film originally called God Particle from Paramount weeks earlier. Presumably, Extinction will be released just as swiftly as Netflix continues its steady stream of content.
Peña and Caplan play husband and wife in a film in which he has nightmares of losing his family, which might become reality when the planet experiences an alien invasion, forcing him to step up to protect them.
The cast is rounded out by Mike Colter (Luke Cage), Lilly Aspell, Emma Booth, Israel Broussard and Lex Shrapnel also star with the screenplay written by Spenser Cohen and Bradley Caleb Kane. The film was produced by Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman from Mandeville Films along with Good Universe.
Young’s Hounds of Love was a terrific breakout thriller which played at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, and I’d been looking forward to seeing what Young does with a bigger budget working with a Hollywood studio. At least the Netflix purchase guarantees more views, though it’s always worrisome when a studio drops a project like a hot potato. We’re likely to see more of this kind of thing in the coming months.
Netflix will also handle the international release of Natalie Portman’s sci-fi thriller Annihilation, written and directed by Alex Garland, which will still get a North American theatrical release on Feb. 23.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor