The duke and duchess of Sussex are Hollywood players now.
Britain’s Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle have signed a multiyear overall deal at Netflix. As reported by The New York Times, the deal will cover scripted and unscripted TV series, documentaries, feature films and kids’ programming.
The deal comes seven months after the couple announced they would “step back” as senior members of the British royal family. Their signing with Netflix echoes the deal made by former President Barack Obama and wife Michelle, whose Higher Ground Productions produced the Oscar-winning documentary American Factory for the streamer.
Shortly after that, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos said he’d be open to working with the duke and duchess: “Who wouldn’t be interested? Yes, sure,” he told the U.K.’s Press Association.
“Our lives, both independent of each other, and as a couple, have allowed us to understand the power of the human spirit: of courage, resilience and the need for connection,” said the duke and duchess of Sussex. “Through our work with diverse communities and their environments, to shining a light on people and causes around the world, our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope. As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us, as is powerful storytelling through a truthful and relatable lens. We are pleased to work with Ted and the team at Netflix whose unprecedented reach will help us share impactful content that unlocks action.”
The couple already has projects in development at the streamer, including a nature docuseries and an animated series that will celebrate inspiring women.
“Harry and Meghan have inspired millions of people all around the world with their authenticity, optimism and leadership,” said Sarandos, co-CEO and chief content officer at Netflix. “We’re incredibly proud they have chosen Netflix as their creative home — and are excited about telling stories with them that can help build resilience and increase understanding for audiences everywhere.”
The duke and duchess will focus on creating programming that resonates with them, including issues that are the focus of their nonprofit foundation, Archewell. They’re also committed to featuring diverse voices in front of and behind the camera and in hiring for their production company, which is staffing up.
Markle was an actress, most notably on USA’s legal drama Suits, before marrying Prince Harry. She has no plans to return to acting, though per the Times, the couple may appear onscreen in documentary projects. Harry is featured in Netflix’s recently released documentary Rising Phoenix, about the Paralympic Games, and joined with Oprah Winfrey to produce a docuseries on mental health for Apple TV+.
Following their January announcement that they would step down as senior royals, the duke and duchess entered into negotiations with the royal family under which Queen Elizabeth II gave them leave in exchange for the couple not using the titles His Royal Highness and Her Royal Highness and to give up public funding. The latter stipulation set off a wave of speculation about how they would support themselves, including potentially entering the entertainment industry.