The Netflix deal with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment left many in the industry scratching their heads. It seemed like only yesterday that Spielberg was being heavily critical of streaming platforms and questioning their quality compared to the cinematic experience of having a big movie on a big screen, but having had some kind of change of heart, the new deal means that Amblin will now be producing “multiple new films per year.” Since the announcement, there has been no real elaboration on what the effectively equates to, and what type of content will be coming the streamer’s way from the studio, especially when considering that Amblin’s main output will still be through longterm partner, Universal.
Netflix executive Scott Stuber has now finally broken the silence on the deal, opening up during a recent interview about the upcoming plans of the platform in general. Relaying his excitement to be working with Amblin, it seems that part of the Spielberg’s change of heart towards Netflix is alleged to have been partly linked to them picking up The Trial of The Chicago 7 after it was dropped by Paramount in the middle of the pandemic.
“It was a big moment for us,” Stuber said about landing the great white whale that is Steven Spielberg. “Throughout Wall Street, throughout the industry, there was recognition about the possibilities that this deal presents. We’re going to do great things together. I would love him to make movies like The Goonies or Indiana Jones for us. He’s done those kind of great stories better than anyone.”
While many have dismissed the idea of Steven Spielberg sending any of his big projects Netflix’s way, it may not be that far-fetched an idea when you consider a number of factors and recent events. Netflix have also been courting Christopher Nolan, since the direct has been disgruntled with Warner Bros. streaming decisions during the pandemic, although it seems hard to imagine that anyone unhappy with movies being sent to streaming instead of hitting the big screen would actively choose to join a streaming platform. Either way, this comes only a couple of years after Netflix managed to score a huge coop with The Irishman, a film by another critic of streaming, Martin Scorsese.
There is every possibility that Spielberg could be coaxed into bringing out some big guns in the future considering some of the recent acquisitions and new original movie releases. Red Notice, for example, is to stream later in the year with a huge $200 million budget and starring Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds. It is the type of movie that would a few years ago have never been premiered on a streaming platform, but that is where we are now.
Amazon’s Lord of The Rings series, with its estimated $1 billion overall budget is another example of how the landscape of the entertainment industry is changing dramatically. Stars and budgets that were once reserved for the cinema screen are now being seen more frequently on the small screen. It will be interesting to watch where this new partnership heads in the future. This comes from Variety.