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Netflix Films ‘Okja,’ ‘War Machine’ Set for Theatrical Release in U.K.

Variety logo Variety 5/16/2017 Robert Mitchell
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Leading independent British exhibitor Curzon has confirmed that Netflix’s Cannes competitor “Okja” and Brad Pitt comedy drama “War Machine” will receive exclusive theatrical screenings in its cinemas day-and-date with their Netflix debuts.

Bong Joon-ho’s “Okja” (pictured), which has been the subject of controversy after it was announced it would receive its world premiere in the official competition lineup at Cannes, is scheduled for U.K. release on June 23. It tells the story of a young girl who risks everything to prevent a powerful multinational company from kidnapping her best friend, a massive animal named Okja.

“War Machine,” from “Animal Kingdom” director David Michod, will arrive in U.K. cinemas and on Netflix on May 26. The satire features an ensemble cast including Topher Grace, Alan Ruck, Will Poulter, R.J. Cyler and Ben Kingsley. Pitt stars as a charismatic four-star general commanding NATO forces in Afghanistan who is taken down by a journalist’s no-holds-barred expose.

Both films feature Oscar-winning British actress Tilda Swinton.

The U.K.’s Film Distributors’ Association confirmed that both titles are set to play across Curzon’s 10 locations. Six of Curzon’s sites are in London, with the other four in Canterbury, Sheffield, Ripon in North Yorkshire, and Knutsford, near Manchester.

News of the U.K. release was first reported by Screen Daily. It comes less than a week after Cannes issued a statement that it would keep “Okja” and another Netflix title, Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories,” in its competition lineup despite opposition from French exhibitors but that for future festival consideration all competition titles would have to commit to theatrical distribution in France.

“Okja” sees its Cannes world premiere on Friday.

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