Deadline reported Monday night that The Weinstein Company has sealed a deal to release Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend, the sequel to Ang Lee’s Oscar-nominated martial arts masterpiece, via Netflix, making it the popular streaming service’s first ever exclusive feature film.
This is huge news for a company already in the midst of disrupting the broadcast television industry with high quality, award winning, On-Demand programming. And while exclusive deals for feature films have been given to cable and satellite companies or while others have been released exclusively on VOD, rarely has the film been as high profile as this.
Though Lee will not be involved on The Green Legend, the film features a returning performance from Michelle Yeoh and also stars martial artist Donnie Yen. The film will be directed by Yuen Woo-Ping and is based on the fifth book in a series by Wang Du Lu, Silver Vase, Iron Knight.
Netflix is slating an August 25, 2015 release date, with likely several more original films in the pipeline.
This of course comes after news that Netflix is expanding its television reach with a talk show starring Chelsea Handler. While it remains to be seen how a feature film will do compared to entire seasons of programming, if traditional, brick and mortar Hollywood studios needed a reason to be scared, this is as good as any.