Netflix has made original, exclusive TV shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black a major part of its content strategy over the last few years, and now the company has a new piece of the puzzle to unveil. According to Deadline and Variety, Netflix will release the sequel to Ang Lee's surprise international hit martial arts film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon at the same time as it hits movie theaters.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend will feature the first film's star Michelle Yeoh and will premiere on August 28th, 2015 on Netflix as well as in IMAX movie theaters. It's worth noting that theatrical distribution for this film will be limited to only IMAX screens, at least initially. For those who don't have a screen nearby, Netflix will be the only way to catch the film. As noted by Variety, IMAX is hoping that for a successful opening in China, a country where Netflix is unavailable.
The movie will only be available on Netflix or at IMAX theaters
"Fans will have unprecedented choice in how they enjoy an amazing and memorable film that combines intense action and incredible beauty," said Netflix's Ted Sarandos in a statement. "We are honored to be working with Harvey Weinstein and a world-class team of creators to bring this epic story to people all over the world and to partner with IMAX, a brand that represents the highest quality of immersive entertainment, in the distribution of this film."
"The moviegoing experience is evolving quickly and profoundly, and Netflix is unquestionably at the forefront of that movement," said film producer Harvey Weinstein. Netflix is already the exclusive streaming provider for shows from The Weinstein Co., and this deal only extends that relationship.
It's worth noting that Ang Lee won't be shooting this new film. Yuen Wo-Ping is directing the sequel, which is already filming in New Zealand. However, the source material will be the same: both Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and its forthcoming sequel are based on books in the Crane-Iron Pentalogy, by Wang Du Lu.