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Peter Berg, the filmmaker behind Deepwater Horizon, Hancock and Friday Night Lights, and his banner Film 44 have signed a first-look deal at Netflix to produce and direct live-action films and series.
The pact comes just over a year after his last feature directorial effort, the action-thriller Spenser Confidential, debuted on the streamer and became one of the company’s biggest hits of last year. Netflix announced that the movie, which starred Mark Wahlberg as an ex-cop on a mission, was viewed by 85 million members in its first four weeks.
“Pete makes movies that captivate and thrill us,” said Netflix vp film Tendo Nagenda. “He can put a fresh spin on classic and beloved characters like he did with Spenser Confidential, as well as find and tell original stories that entertain the world. We’re thrilled to have him and Film 44 officially at Netflix.”
Berg has already been working steadily on Netflix projects. In addition to Spenser, for example, he is exec producing and due to direct Painkiller, a limited series that looks at the opioid crisis. Among his other projects is a documentary on Rihanna for Netflix rival Amazon.
Berg and Film 44 have had previous deals, either in film or television, with Fox, HBO and Universal. In fact, the pact with Netflix reunites him with Netflix film chief, Scott Stuber, with whom he worked when the latter was an executive and producer at Universal. That working relationship yielded movies like adapted the Buzz Bissinger football book Friday Night Lights, political thriller The Kingdom and early Dwayne Johnson action movie The Rundown.
The filmmaker, who began his career as an actor and co-starred on the 1990s medical drama Chicago Hope, has also worked in series television, directing pilots for such shows as The Leftovers and Ballers for HBO, and the well-remembered TV version of Friday Night Lights.
Berg also runs Film 45, focused on nonscripted entertainment, and Film 47, which works in commercial and branded entertainment.
“For me, in this moment, Netflix is the perfect creative fit,” Berg, repped by WME, enthused in a statement. “I could not be more excited to get to work!”
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