Amblin Partners, the production company founded and chaired by director and producer Steven Spielberg, has signed a multi-year deal with streaming platform Netflix.
In a press release on Netflix’s website, the two companies announced that the partnership will result in “several new feature films per year”.
Some may see it as an unexpected turn of events for Spielberg’s company, given the director’s previous stances on streaming movies. Two years ago, an Amblin spokesperson publicly announced that Spielberg planned to support changes to the Academy Awards that would reclassify Netflix movies as TV movies, which are ineligible for Oscars such as Best Picture.
The push was planned at a time when Netflix-distributed movie Rome was ready to sweep the awards ceremonies. But in the end, the Academy rejected the appeals of Spielberg and others to limit eligibility.
As is often the case, today’s press release was accompanied by pre-written statements from several executives involved, including Spielberg himself. The quote attributed to him says:
At Amblin, storytelling will forever be at the heart of everything we do, and from the beginning [Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer] and I started talking about a partnership, it was obvious that we had a great opportunity to tell new stories together and reach the audience in new ways. This new avenue for our movies, in addition to the stories we continue to tell with our old family at Universal and our other partners, will be incredibly fulfilling for me personally as we begin it with Ted, and I can’t wait to go. work with him, [Scott Stuber, Netflix head of Global Film]and the entire Netflix team.
Amblin is not new to streaming. The company has already produced movies that have featured prominently or exclusively on streaming platforms, perhaps most notably the Netflix original The Process of the Chicago 7 released last fall. Amblin has also produced a post-apocalyptic drama called Finch which will air on Apple TV+ later this year.
Today’s announcement could be a win for Netflix, which now faces plenty of viable competitors (like HBO Max or Disney+) in a streaming TV/movie space it previously dominated.
But if you’re a fan of Spielberg’s movies, don’t get too excited just yet: Amblin produces movies made by directors other than Spielberg, so this deal isn’t a guarantee we’ll see the next Spielberg movie on Netflix.