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Netflix, Amazon buy original films

Netflix and Amazon Studios have both invested in new movies, the former pacting with Brad Pitt and the latter picking up the latest effort from Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn.

Netflix will invest US$50 million in South Korean film Okja, according to production company Okja SPC, with Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment attached as a coproducer.

Netflix is set to launch in South Korea next year, and has already committed to producing local television content in the territory.

Okja will follow the relationship of a young girl and an animal named Okja. Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano and Bill Nighy are expected to have roles in the film, which goes into production in Korea and New York late next year.

South Korea director Bong Joon Ho (Snowpiercer) is directing.

Amazon, meanwhile, has according to Variety acquired rights to The Neon Demon, which follows an aspiring model who moves to LA, where her life is destroyed by a group of beauty-obsessed women.

Elle Fanning, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks and Jena Malone are starring in the pic, which has Gaumont and Wild Bunch attached as co-financiers, producers and distributors. Winding Refn’s prodco, Space Rocket, is also attached.

Amazon plans to release the film theatrically last year. Contrary to Netflix, which debuts its films via its SVOD platform before opening the theatrical window, Amazon plays its original movies in cinemas first.

Amazon Studios launched its film wing, Amazon Original Movies, under producer Ted Hope earlier this year.