Sean Parker's Gag Order Addiction: Even Spielberg Had to Sign NDA at Screening Room Presentation

No matter what businessman Sean Parker is up to — selling Hollywood on his controversial Screening Room or hosting a black-tie charity event — he makes everyone sign a NDA.
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A version of this story first appeared in the May 6 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Sean Parker was passing out NDAs again, this time during a charity event at his Bel Air home April 13 to launch his Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. Before attending the black-tie gala — and mingling with such power players as Tom Hanks, Sean Penn, Bradley Cooper and CAA's Richard Lovett — press and staff were required to sign nondisclosure agreements (and take selfies for security). It's unknown whether the stars did the same, but Parker hasn't been shy about asking: During the past many months, at various presentations for Screening Room — his controversial proposal for a $50-a-month first-run home streaming service — the Napster co-founder has asked folks including Steven Spielberg, Brian Grazer, J.J. Abrams and Ron Howard to sign NDAs (Christopher Nolan was one of the few who said no).

Peter Jackson signed an NDA, but when THR bumped into him at Parker's charity event, he easily opened up about Screening Room. "Honestly, I kicked the tires so hard trying to pick every hole that I possibly could," he said. "I wanted to ensure in my mind it wasn't going to take people out of theaters and reduce attendance — but it's going to increase it. It will energize audiences."

The filmmaker went so far as to say that the industry really needs the new venture. "The same people who only went to the theater once or twice a year will now go three or four times a year because they will be watching more films at home, paying $50 at a time, but will be a part of the water cooler conversation at work," he continued. "It will get everyone talking about movies once again."