Steven Spielberg, a filmmaker synonymous with big-screen enchantment, has set a new deal with Netflix in which his production company, Amblin Partners, will make multiple feature films per year for the streaming giant.
The partnership, one long courted by Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer, is a major get for the company that, amid increasing competition, brings perhaps the most beloved film director more officially into the streaming fold.
The deal announced Monday doesn’t specifically include any movies to be directed by Spielberg. This December, he will release West Side Story theatrically with Disney’s 20th Century Studios. Amblin has a separate deal with Universal Pictures for theatrical releases.
“At Amblin, storytelling will forever be at the centre 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,” Spielberg said in a statement. “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.”
Amblin, which takes its name from a 1968 short by Spielberg, has helped produce a wide variety of films outside of those made by Spielberg, including 1917 and Green Book. The two companies have previously worked together on TV series and the Aaron Sorkin movie The Trial of the Chicago 7, a film co-produced by Amblin that was sold by Paramount Pictures to Netflix during the pandemic.
Spielberg has sometimes been seen as against a streaming future for movies. A Deadline Hollywood headline on Monday’s announcement wondered: “Hell Freezes Over?”