EXCLUSIVE: While there has been question about big movies holding their theatrical release dates around the holidays in this COVID moment, Universal’s News of the World is solidifying a plan to release theatrically in the U.S., while getting its international release through Netflix. Deadline hears that the Paul Greengrass-directed period drama that stars Tom Hanks is making a deal to have its overseas distribution handled through Netflix, which has done this on some other pictures but not on one this large.

The deal is being sewn up as we speak, and this will be good news for theaters in the U.S. as the picture launches its way into Oscar season. The picture will be release on PVOD as early as 17 days following its theatrical release on December 25. It will continue to play in theaters after that happens. This is possible because of Uni’s deal with AMC.

The Netflix deal will keep it eligible for BAFTAs abroad, but it gives the picture a vast global audience. It is an intriguing model for distribution as the business fights its way through the limitations of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hanks plas a Civil War veteran who agrees to deliver a girl, taken by the Kiowa people years ago, to her aunt and uncle, against her will. They travel hundreds of miles and face grave dangers along the way.

Greengrass wrote the script with Luke Davies based on the Paulette Giles novel. Hanks’ Playtone partner Gary Goetzman produced along with Gregory Goodman and Gail Mutrux.

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