E.T. phone... Netflix?
Legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg has struck a multi-year deal to make movies for Netflix Inc.
According to The Wall Street Journal, films from Amblin (i.e. Spielberg's studio) won’t hit the streaming service until later this year at the earliest, and neither Amblin nor Netflix would comment on the types of films that would be made for the service.
This partnership may represent a significant pivot for Spielberg.
In 2018 he strongly implied films that primarily premiered on streaming services watched at home became TV movies: "You certainly, if it’s a good show, deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar."
But speaking of his deal with Netflix today, he's quoted as saying: “It was abundantly clear that we had an amazing opportunity to tell new stories together and reach audiences in new ways.”
Should those new stories that reach audiences in new ways be eligible for Academy Awards? It will be interesting to see if Spielberg changes his mind about what type of content should be eligible for an Oscar.
And if he does, it will be interesting to see how many other film directors might decide that releasing their content exclusively on a streaming service might not be so bad after all. ("Hey, if it's good enough for Steven Spielberg...")
That could be game-changing from a content perspective.
Note: if you want to read the article, you can bypass the WSJ paywall using this link, thanks to a very smart feature that allows subscribers like me to share individual articles of interest.