Steven S. DeKnight Inks Overall Deal With Netflix

Steven S. DeKnight - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix is expanding its overall deal roster.

The streaming giant has inked writer-producer-director Steve S. DeKnight to a multiyear overall deal. Under the pact, which sources estimate is worth $4 million a year, the Daredevil and Pacific Rim Uprising grad will create series and other projects for Netflix.

DeKnight joins a stable of producers including Jenji Kohan, Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy at Netflix, which is increasingly looking to own more of its film and TV content with such pacts. In DeKnight, Netflix lands a writer, producer, director and showrunner who can deliver on both the film and TV sides. DeKnight's TV credits include creating and showrunning Starz's Spartacus — also available on Netflix — as well as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, spinoff Angel and Smallville.

"Steven S. DeKnight is a multifaceted writer, director, producer and showrunner whose daring visions have gripped audiences for years,” Netflix vp originals Cindy Holland said Thursday in a statement. “From Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which become a global cult sensation, to his historical gladiator epic Spartacus, and his unforgettable work on season one of Marvel's Daredevil, Steven’s bold, visceral storytelling has left its mark. We look forward to teaming with him on future original series and other projects for our members around the world."

The pact brings DeKnight back into the Netflix fold after he served as showrunner on season one of Marvel's first Netflix drama, Daredevil. DeKnight exited after season one so he could focus on his feature film directorial debut, Pacific Rim Uprising. The series is on its fourth showrunner as it heads into its third season. DeKnight was previously under an overall deal with Starz, which was the first of its kind for the premium cabler.

"Collaborating with Netflix on the first season of Daredevil was one of the most satisfying creative endeavors of my career," DeKnight said. "The level of trust they place in their creatives is matched only by their unflagging support and enthusiasm for storytelling. I couldn’t ask for a better home for myself or DeKnight Productions."

The DeKnight deal arrives as genre producers remain in high demand as Netflix rival Amazon has been aggressively pushing into the space. The latter's deals have included an overall pact with The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and a $250 million global rights package for a Lord of the Rings TV series. Netflix continues to have its roster of Marvel dramas, which also include Jessica Jones, The Punisher, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, as well as pop culture phenomenon Stranger Things, among others.

Netflix ignited a war for top talent behind the scenes after inking Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy) and Murphy (Glee) to nine-figure pacts. Since then, the broadcast studio system, as well as fellow streamers Apple and Amazon, have all been aggressive in competing with the deep-pocketed Netflix. To that end, Warner Bros. TV shelled out $400 million to keep TV's most prolific producer, Greg Berlanti, under its roof for the foreseeable future. As part of the process, streamers and studios alike are looking for talent who can juggle both TV and film as the line between the two mediums blurs and outlets compete for eyeballs and dollars by becoming homes to exclusive brands like Rhimes, Murphy and Marvel. Apple also recently inked Oprah Winfrey to a multyear pact in a bid to reach her broad audience.

DeKnight is repped by CAA and attorney Jeanne Newman.