Steven Spielberg and Amblin Make a Deal with Netflix

Credit: Vanity Fair
Breaking: Amblin Partners is making a deal with Netflix. 

Steven Spielberg's Amblin is making a deal with Netflix, which will see the streamer financing and releasing several movies a year for the company. It also shows how Netflix CEOs Ted Sarandos and Scott Stuber have their sights on the most famous filmmakers and companies. They continue to push Netflix's boundaries.

We covered comments Spielberg made (which his camp says were taken out of context) about streaming movies not being eligible for the Academy Awards, but it seems as if that's all smoothed over now. 

This new Netflix deal will not affect the deal Amblin has with Universal Pictures. 

Spielberg said in a statement: “At Amblin, storytelling will forever be at the center of everything we do, and from the minute Ted 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. 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.”

In return, Sarandos called Spielberg “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. 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.”

While this sounds revolutionary, Netflix and Amblin have worked together in the past. Last year, Amblin produced Trial of the Chicago 7, which Netflix released (and which garnered several Academy Award nominations). Netflix also acquired the Amblin film Maestro, where Bradley Cooper plays Leonard Bernstein. 

Amblin Partners CEO Jeff Small said in a statement, “By deepening our ties with Netflix via this new film partnership, we are building on what has for many years been an incredibly successful working relationship in both television and film. The global platform they’ve built—with more than 200 million members—speaks for itself, and we’re extremely grateful to have the opportunity to work closely with Scott and his amazing team to deliver Amblin’s iconic brand of storytelling to the Netflix audience.”

Netflix Head of Global Film Scott Stuber said, “Amblin and Steven Spielberg are synonymous with incredible entertainment. Their passion and artistry combine to make films that both captivate and challenge audiences. We look forward to working with Steven, Jeff, and the entire Amblin family on a new slate of films that will delight generations for years to come.”

These are the typical platitudes for titans of the industry, but what does it say about the future of filmmaking? Without knowing what defines a Netflix movie versus a Universal movie, Amblin seems like they will be able to have their cake and eat it too.

Spielberg has a new movie he is shooting now based on his life. There could be a situation where those two entities bid on it inside Amblin. Still, I think the best benefit of this is Amblin making more movies. 

That means more jobs for writers and more for the execs to find these projects and to oversee them. This will be interesting to monitor as it progresses. Let us know what you think in the comments.      

Your Comment

1 Comment

With this deal between Amblin and Netflix, they must begin talks with theater chains immediately.

This is further proof that they need to start talks now.

June 23, 2021 at 3:48PM

0
Reply
Jesse J. Tripp
Screenwriter
123