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Amblin Partners, the production outfit run by Steven Spielberg, has signed a partnership with Netflix.
The deal will see the company produce multiple films for the streamer per year and is on top of the long-standing output pact the company has with Universal, which is theatrical in nature and was renewed in December.
Amblin sees the deal as a way to increase its film slate. The Netflix deal has no restrictions regarding budget or genre, according to insiders.
“At Amblin, storytelling will forever be at the center of everything we do, and from the minute Ted [Sarandos, Netflix’s co-CEO and chief content officer] and I started discussing a partnership, it was abundantly clear that we had an amazing opportunity to tell new stories together and reach audiences in new ways,” said Spielberg in a statement announcing the deal. “This new avenue for our films, alongside the stories we continue to tell with our longtime family at Universal and our other partners, will be incredibly fulfilling for me personally since we get to embark on it together with Ted, and I can’t wait to get started with him, Scott, and the entire Netflix team.”
Enthused Sarandos: “Steven is a creative visionary and leader and, like so many others around the world, my growing up was shaped by his memorable characters and stories that have been enduring, inspiring and awakening. We cannot wait to get to work with the Amblin team and we are honored and thrilled to be part of this chapter of Steven’s cinematic history.”
Which projects fall under the Netflix pact is unclear. Amblin has been quite active in recent months and has several movies wrapping up or about to go. Spielberg is prepping to shoot his semiautobiographical feature starring Paul Dano and Michelle Williams this summer, with that drama expected to go to Universal.
But other projects remain unclear. Easter Sunday, a comedy starring Jo Koy, is near wrapping its shoot. And horror project The Last Voyage of the Demeter is prepping for a summer shoot in Europe.
Also wrapped is The Good House, a comedy-drama starring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver, and Distant, a sci-fi project with Anthony Ramos and Naomi Scott.
Having Spielberg under the Netflix tent puts one of Hollywood’s last few titan directors who had been fighting for the primacy of the theatrical experience in the digital streaming world, if at least with one foot. Netflix has championed films made by auteurs such as Martin Scorsese and David Fincher by greenlighting their dream projects even as directors such as Christopher Nolan and James Cameron eschew streaming and try to work within the traditional studio model.
In recent years, Amblin has been a producer on awards-minded movies such as Green Book and 1917, and worked with Netflix on The Trial of the Chicago 7. The two also have Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein film, Maestro, in preproduction.
CAA was instrumental in Amblin’s deal.
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