Netflix is gonna need a bigger boat. Legendary director Steven Spielberg and his production company, Amblin Partners, have signed a partnership deal with the streamer that will see the company produce multiple films per year. Though Netflix and Spielberg have feuded in the past, it seems they’ve buried the hatchet with this deal.
The collaboration is on top of the long-standing pact the company has with Universal, which was renewed in December 2020. Amblin sees the deal as a way to increase their film slate. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this Netflix deal has no restrictions regarding budget or genre — so prepare yourself for mega sharks, friendly aliens, and adventure galore (maybe).
“At Amblin, storytelling will forever be at the center of everything we do, and from the minute Ted [Sarandos] 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,” said Spielberg in a statement. “This new avenue for our films, alongside the stories we continue to tell with our longtime family at Universal and our other partners, will be incredibly fulfilling for me personally since we get to embark on it together with Ted, and I can’t wait to get started with him, Scott, and the entire Netflix team.”
Sarandos, who serves as Netflix’s co-CEO and chief content officer, also shared his excitement about the partnership between the streamer and the iconic director.
“Steven is a creative visionary and leader and, like so many others around the world, my growing up was shaped by his memorable characters and stories that have been enduring, inspiring and awakening,” Sarandos said. “We cannot wait to get to work with the Amblin team and we are honored and thrilled to be part of this chapter of Steven’s cinematic history.”
Netflix, Spielberg, and Amblin Productions have yet to announce which upcoming projects will fall under the Netflix pact. Recently, Amblin has had several movies wrapping up or about to enter production. Spielberg is currently preparing to shoot his semi-autobiographical feature starring Paul Dano and Michelle Williams this summer. While that drama is expected to go to Universal, other projects like the comedy Easter Sunday and horror movie The Last Voyage of the Demeter have unclear futures.
Wrapped projects include The Good House, a comedy-drama reuniting Dave stars Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver, and Distant, a sci-fi project led by Anthony Ramos and Naomie Scott.
Spielberg is the latest Hollywood titan to sign on with Netflix. Others who have worked with the mega-streamer include Oscar winners like Martin Scorsese and David Fincher, who have had their dream projects greenlit by the platform. Spielberg, meanwhile, was previously staunchly against streaming first, with an Amblin representative saying he “feels strongly about the difference between the streaming and theatrical situation.” This deal marks a change of pace with the auteur’s relationship to streaming, and should be exciting to see what emerges.