Netflix is really trying to up its game in 2017. The streaming giant announced last year that it intends to eventually produce half of its streaming content, and with even more original content on the way in 2017, it looks like it's trying to uphold that commitment. Earlier this month, Netflix announced the hiring of producer Scott Stuber as the head of the Netflix film division, stating that he will be ‘leading future development, production and acquisition’ for feature-length content.
While some subscribers may groan at deals like Netflix's continuing relationship with Adam Sandler, those films have actually performed quite well (he has loyal fans), and they only make up one part of Netflix's original content. With movies like the Fundamentals of Caring, The Little Prince, Beasts of No Nation, or The Siege of Jadotville, Netflix has an ever increasing lineup of quality exclusive feature films, and movies like the Max Landis-written David Ayer-directed Bright coming later this year, Netflix is an ever growing source of original quality feature films.
According to Deadline, Netflix has now picked up exclusive distribution rights for the newest project from the director of The Raid: Redemption, Gareth Evans. The film is called Apostle and has been described as a period revenge thriller about a man who tries to rescue his sister from a mysterious cult on a remote island. The cult wants a ransom for her return, but - as anyone that has seen The Raid can tell you - that's a decision they'll learn to regret. The specific period the film takes place in isn't clear yet, but it will be a departure for Evans who's previous movies have all been modern stories.
Legion star, Dan Stevens has already been cast for a while, but this newest announcement also comes with word that Michael Sheen, Lucy Boynton, Bill Millner, and Kristine Froseth. It's set to start shooting in April, but there's currently no release date announced. Considering most production schedules, it should be expected in the second half of 2018.
While Evans made a name for himself with the relentless kinetic action of The Raid: Redemption, Apostle's cast doesn't have the same prowess for martial arts as Iko Uwais and the other stars of The Raid, so it's pretty doubtful that Apostle will take on the same high-octane martial arts action style. Regardless, this is a project many fans will want to keep an eye on as it approaches its official release.