Ever since Cary Fukunaga made his name directing the first season of True Detective, fans have been eager to see what the writer-director would do next. Now, his adaptation of Uzodinma Iweala’s acclaimed novel Beasts of No Nation is set to come to theaters and to Netflix this October, and today Netflix released the first trailer.
Though Fukunaga is still most known for True Detective (as well as his hairstyles), Beasts of No Nation looks like it will share the most in common with Fukunaga’s debut feature Sin Nombre, another movie about a young boy lured into a violent conflict by older men. Whereas Sin Nombre follows a Mexican boy who joins a drug gang, Beasts of No Nation follows a young West African boy (played by newcomer Abraham Attah), who becomes a child soldier under a ruthless leader (Idris Elba). The trailer focuses in on one particularly horrible moment of suspense (it reminds me in that way of the similarly effective first trailer for American Sniper last year, which also focused on the decision of whether or not to take a life), but Fukunaga told me that the movie has bigger ideas in mind, including “the post-colonial cycle of conflict” and “conflict as industry.” (He also told me: “There is a long take in there, but it’s not showy or anything.”)
In addition to being a much-anticipated follow-up from Fukunaga (especially now that the writer-director’s other project, his adaptation of Stephen King’s It, fell through), and one of the first major starring movie roles for Elba, Beasts of No Nation also marks a big moment for Netflix, as its first major original feature. Since the movie will also open in theaters, we’ll see this fall whether Beasts of No Nation could become the first fiction film to bring Netflix an Oscar nomination.