Shot in Ghana, the film, which debuts Oct. 16 as part of Netflix‘s original film slate, stars Idris Elba as a warlord who has collected an army of young boys in West Africa and turned them into soldiers. That stark foundation is contrast with the film’s stunning scenery; from Sin Nombre to True Detective, Fukunaga has always been good at pairing beauty with dread. Fukunaga’s Apocalypse Now-ish behind-the-scenes stories only add to the mix. Via Variety:
But getting malaria was only the first in a series of disasters for “Beasts.” The camera operator pulled his hamstring on the first day, which meant Fukunaga had to fill in on that job, in addition to his roles as director and cinematographer, using a Steadicam strapped to his back. Some of the extras playing the tribal guards were jailed in the Ivory Coast on suspicion of being mercenaries, and had to be sent money for food and clothes. Actors wouldn’t show up for work because they lost interest, forcing Fukunaga to crank out morning rewrites. The cast was terrified of poisonous snakes, and the director—who travelled through the jungle with a machete and a stick—nearly stepped on a black mamba that could have killed him.
Screengrab via Netflix/YouTube