When Netflix began lording over the world of streaming media—there are about 100 million disciples currently worshiping at its altar—its first commandment was "Thou shalt not show original content in a theater before it premieres on Netflix." But in the kingdom of Hollywood, Oscar is the true almighty. And for that very reason, Netflix officials will break their own commandment by putting Roma, the critically acclaimed film from Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuaron and one of the most anticipated titles in Netflix history, in brick-and-mortar theaters before it streams online.
"It is hard to overstate how dramatic the move is for Netflix," wrote Vanity Fair's Nicole Sperling. "It is a signal to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that Netflix is serious about awards consideration."
Netflix didn't just break its own rule; it's acting as if that rule never existed. Along with Roma, Netflix has since announced that it will also put The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, from directors Joel and Ethan Coen, and Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock, in theaters weeks before they hit the global streaming service.