Steven Soderbergh Inks Sweeping TV, Film Deal With WarnerMedia

Steven Soderbergh - Getty - H 2020
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Tribeca TV Festival

Steven Soderbergh is expanding his relationship with WarnerMedia.

The indie pioneer has signed a sweeping overall deal with the media giant. The three-year deal includes an exclusive TV pact that will see the Ocean's director-producer develop and create new projects for premium cable network HBO and forthcoming streamer HBO Max. Additionally, Warner Bros. Pictures will also have a first-look film option on projects from the Erin Brockovich helmer. Financial terms were not immediately available, but it is considered to be a sizable deal.

The expansive arrangement builds on Warners' relationship with Soderberg, who is directing the comedic feature Let Them All Talk, which stars Meryl Streep and is due to launch this year on HBO Max.

"This arrangement grew out of talks Michael Sugar and I were having with Sarah Aubrey during the negotiations for Let Them All Talk, and there were four things tractor-beaming me toward this deal: One, I have a history with both HBO and Warner Bros.; two, my definition of a good product, a good process, and a good working culture is shared by the WarnerMedia family; three, the wide range of potential outlets aligns with my range of interests; and four, I get to witness and participate in the building of something new at a very large scale. Oh, and there is a financial aspect, so that’s probably five,” Soderbergh said Wednesday in a statement.

Soderberg's pact echoes a similar company-wide deal that Warners signed last year with J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot banner, which will create and develop film and TV projects across all of the company's various platforms. It also brings Soderbergh back to the television fold after previous efforts including HBO's Liberace telepic Behind the Candelabra and Cinemax's The Knick and Mosaic.

"From Behind the Candelabra, to The Knick and Mosaic, we know first-hand that Steven Soderbergh’s creative genius knows no bounds,” said HBO programming president Casey Bloys. “An indefatigable innovator, we couldn’t be more excited to continue our relationship with Steven and provide a home for his future projects.”

Under the deal, Soderbergh is expected to do more mainstream features for Warners in addition to more niche fare, per sources.

"Steven is a groundbreaking filmmaker who not only tells unique, irresistible stories, but is also a master of so many genres,” said Aubrey, who heads originals for HBO Max. “In many ways, he is the anti-algorithm constantly surprising, never predictable and his career is living proof that one gifted filmmaker can impact our culture again and again. I can’t wait for the projects that we’re working on together to premiere on HBO Max.”

Sugar and Jamie Feldman at Lichter Grossman brokered the deal.