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Steven Spielberg’s production company signs multi-film deal with Netflix

A smiling older man in open collar.
Enlarge / Filmmaker Steven Spielberg will appear at Comic-Con in 2017.

Amblin Partners, the production company founded and led by director and producer Steven Spielberg, has signed a multi-year agreement with the streaming platform Netflix.

In a press release on Netflix̵

7;s website, the two companies announced that the partnership will result in “more new feature films a year.”

Some might see it as an unexpected turnaround from Spielberg’s company, given the director’s previous stance on streaming movies. Two years ago, a spokesman for Amblin publicly announced that Spielberg intended to support changes to the Academy Awards that would reclassify Netflix movies as TV movies that were not eligible for the Oscar for Best Picture.

Push was planned at a time when Netflix was distributing movies Rome was ready to sweep prices. But in the end, the academy rejected the calls from Spielberg and others to limit eligibility.

As is often the case, today’s press release was accompanied by pre-written statements from various leaders involved, including Spielberg himself. The quote attributed to him says:

At Amblin, storytelling will forever be at the center of everything we do and from the moment [Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer] and I started discussing a partnership, it was quite clear that we had a great opportunity to tell new stories together and reach the audience in new ways. This new path to our film, along with the stories we continue to tell with our longtime family at Universal and our other partners, will be incredibly satisfying for me personally as we get started on it with Ted and I can do not wait to get started 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 films that have played prominently or exclusively on streaming platforms, perhaps especially the Netflix original The lawsuit against Chicago 7 released last fall. Amblin has also produced a post-apocalyptic drama called Finch scheduled to air on Apple TV + later this year.

Today’s announcement could be a victory for Netflix, which now faces several viable competitors (such as HBO Max or Disney +) in a streaming TV / movie room that it has previously dominated.

But if you’re a fan of Spielberg’s films, do not get too excited yet: Amblin produces films made by directors other than Spielberg, so this agreement is no guarantee that we’ll see the next Spielberg film on Netflix.

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