Steven Spielberg strikes deal with Netflix. Is Hollywood finally changing?
Steven Spielberg-led Amblin Partners and Netflix have joined forces that will have the company produce multiple new films for the streaming giant every year. The move will unarguably put the streamer ahead in the race of OTT platforms like Disney+, Prime, Hulu, etc., which are trying to beat each other with new original content. It is also surprising, given Spielberg's skepticism about Netflix.
In 2019, reports said that the ace filmmaker had suggested the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that "day-and-date streaming releases should be barred from being eligible for Oscars." However, sources close to the director denied the reports. He himself issued a clarification and denied having urged the Academy to bar Netflix, but said he would still bat for a theatrical experience.
The director, in his statement, had said, "I want people to find their entertainment in any form or fashion that suits them. Big screen, small screen — what really matters to me is a great story and everyone should have access to great stories."
Now, back to the deal, its details are not yet announced, but it is reported that Amblin will produce at least two movies annually for Netflix for an unspecified number of years. This deal will also co-exist with the pact Amblin has made with Universal Studio. It was extended in December last year. The company will make movies for both Netflix and Universal.
About the deal, Spielberg said, "From the minute Ted (Netflix's co-CEO) 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." Previously, Amblin and Netflix have collaborated, but informally. The latter released Amblin produced The Trial of the Chicago 7, a film that got six Oscar nods.
Not just Spielberg, the streaming giant is on a collaboration spree with many top Hollywood faces. Recently, it roped Jennifer Lopez in a multi-year, first look deal via her Nuyorican Productions. The 51-year-old will be showcasing diverse female actors, writers, and directors in multiple films, TV series, and other unscripted projects. Will Smith too is aboard for an hour-long variety comedy special, 'his first-ever.'