Netflix and Steven Spielberg strike surprising production deal

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In a “Jaws”-dropping turn of events, filmmaker Steven Spielberg has struck a multiyear deal to supply movies for Netflix.

Spielberg’s Amblin Partners and Netflix announced an agreement in which the studio will make multiple new films for the streaming giant over the course of the agreement.

The Netflix deal has no restrictions regarding budget or genre, insiders told the Hollywood Reporter. Spielberg’s partnership with Netflix does not impact Spielberg’s relationship with Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“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,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s co-CEO and chief content officer. “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.”

Spielberg, 74, is the mastermind behind such hits as “E.T.,” “Jaws,” “Schindler’s List” and “Jurassic Park.” Amblin has been a producer on films including “Green Book” and collaborated with Netflix on the Oscar-nominated 2020 movie “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

In the past, three-time Oscar-winner Spielberg has suggested that streaming films — presumably including those made for Netflix — should not necessarily qualify for Academy Award consideration.

It is unclear which projects will fall under the Netflix pact. This summer, Spielberg is preparing to shoot his semi-autobiographical feature starring Paul Dano and Michelle Williams, which is expected to go to Universal. Spielberg is also working on projects like the comedy “Easter Sunday” and the horror film “The Last Voyage of the Demeter.”

“It was abundantly clear that we had an amazing opportunity to tell new stories together and reach audiences in new ways,” Spielberg said in a statement.

The deal may add more prestige to Netflix’s already impressive accolades, as the largest streaming service in the world — and the recipient of 36 Oscar nominations for its films. Netflix is expected to make 60 movies this year.

As Netflix competitors grow in scope and audience, Spielberg may be the key figure in protecting Netflix’s popularity. Amazon acquired the MGM movie and TV studio, while Disney+ and HBO Max have developed quite rapidly.

“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,” Spielberg added.

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