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Hulu gets into the documentary game with Ron Howard’s Beatles pic

As is required by law of any streaming service in the universe, eventually it must go into the documentary acquisition game, because otherwise how will it respond when shareholders walk into the room and say, “Hey, Netflix does this. Shouldn’t we do what Netflix does?” This is, of course, because Netflix is the John Tucker of streaming services, meaning everyone else wants to kill it, but also is hopelessly swept up in following the lead set by the industry’s 10-ton giant. And so, Hulu is tossing its hat into the ring, as Deadline reports the company has just announced the launch of Hulu Documentary Films, marked by its first exclusive feature-length acquisition, the upcoming Ron Howard documentary The Beatles: Eight Days A Week.

First announced back in 2014, the film will cover the band’s career from 1962-1966, exploring “how they made decisions, created their music and built their collective career together”—you know, fresh and groundbreaking stuff. The hook for fans will be rare and exclusive footage Howard brings to the project, which implies there is actually existing Beatles footage that has never been seen—possibly of Ringo idly flipping through an issue of NME or something. Maybe it’s of Paul making a sandwich? Regardless, the film will debut in theaters this fall (Best Documentary Oscar noms don’t just fall from the sky, after all) and then find a home solely on Hulu. “Take that, Netflix,” Hulu can then say, a single teardrop falling from its eye as it stares at Netflix’s giant roller-skate birthday bash through a rain-soaked window pane.


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