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Fresh off their Oscar-nominated documentary collaboration Virunga, Leonardo DiCaprio and Netflix are teaming up on a slate of documentaries and docuseries that will premiere exclusively on the streaming service.
DiCaprio’s Appian Way has signed a multiyear first-look deal for nonfiction projects that will have environmental and conservation themes. The deal covers both original documentaries and docuseries as well as acquisitions. That means Appian Way will likely become active on the festival acquisitions front, where the supply of eco-minded documentaries has increased in recent years.
It also offers an opportunity for DiCaprio to marry his producing skills with his longtime role as an environmental philanthropist and activist. He will serve as producer or executive producer for all projects launched through the partnership.
Netflix and DiCaprio first partnered on Virunga, which chronicles the plight of mountain gorillas in Africa and earned a best documentary feature Oscar nomination. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news that the film is being developed now as a narrative feature.
“Working with Netflix on Virunga has sparked a shared vision about projects that we want to develop and bring to viewers,” said DiCaprio. “There’s never been a more critical time for our planet or more of a need for gifted storytellers to help us all make sense of the issues we face. Through this partnership with Netflix, I hope to give documentary filmmakers doing urgent and important work the chance to have their films seen immediately by audiences all around the world.”
Added Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos: “This partnership is a natural extension of our incredible relationship with Leo on Virunga. We look forward to building on our shared success with more thought-provoking, high-quality documentaries and docuseries.”
Netflix, which has become the world’s leading Internet TV network with more than 57 million members in 50-plus countries, continues to ink splashy deals. This week, it plunked down $12 million for Cary Fukunaga‘s Beasts of No Nation.
Appian Way has a first-look deal for theatrical motion pictures with Warner Bros. and is currently in postproduction on Dennis Iliadis’ Home and Dan Myrick’s Under the Bed. The company’s upcoming slate includes Ben Affleck‘s Live by Night, Jaume Collet Serra’s Akira, Joseph Kosinski’s Twilight Zone reboot, and an untitled Richard Jewell project starring Jonah Hill.
DiCaprio is repped by LBI’s Rick Yorn and Jennifer Davisson.
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