Netflix has expanded its prestige by announcing that it has struck deal securing exclusive rights for the premiere of the forthcoming Ricky Gervais comedy movie Special Correspondents. The streaming giant will unveil the film for its worldwide debut next year, according to Deadline.

Special Correspondents is an original comedy that co-stars Eric Bana. Its plot concerns a young, struggling New York radio journalist who pretends that he’s a war reporter on the front line of a foreign conflict, while in reality hiding in an apartment above a Spanish restaurant in Manhattan.

Ricky Gervais
Ricky Gervais has struck a deal with Netflix giving them exclusive rights over his new film

Coupled with the announcement in October last year that they’ve commissioned Adam Sandler to make four new films that will be made exclusive to them, Netflix seems to be intent on changing the world of Hollywood film-making in the same way that it has revolutionised television. It has also secured a deal to make a sequel to the cult movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and make it available on the same basis.

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British comedian Gervais has worked with Netflix on a few occasions before, on his Channel 4 series ‘Derek’ about a nursing home worker, and also starring in a series of Netflix advertisements in 2014.

Reacting to the deal for Special Correspondents, he said: “Having shaken up the TV industry, Netflix is about to do the same to Hollywood. It’s great to be part of the changing future.”

Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement: “It’s [Special Correspondents] the kind of great grown-up comedy that studios rarely make anymore, one that’s perfect for Netflix members around the world.”

According to research quoted by the New York Times, Netflix is set to spend in excess of $450 million on original programming, an 88% rise on what it spent in 2014 ($243 million).

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