Surprise: Netflix Makes A Deal With Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment

Just a few years back, Spielberg had a very different stance on Netflix

A few years ago, Steven Spielberg caused a controversy when he implied that movies on Netflix shouldn’t compete for Oscars with movies that opened primarily in theaters. 

Now, Spielberg is in business with Netflix. 

Spielberg’s production company, Amblin Entertainment, announced a deal with Netflix that will include multiple new movies each year. 

“Steven is 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,” Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said in a statement announcing the deal. “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.”

“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,” 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.” 

There are a few caveats to the deal, as pointed out in Richard Rushfield’s The Ankler newsletter. The deal is not exclusive, as Spielberg and Amblin will be able to continue to make movies for other studios. It’s also not a “first-look” deal, meaning that Netflix won’t have the first crack at everything Amblin develops. 

Also, it is not guaranteed that Spielberg himself will direct each of the films. Some of them will likely be Amblin projects from other directors. This was the case with the Apple TV+ reboot of Amazing Stories, which used Spielberg’s name in advertising copy, but did not have Spielberg as a writer or director of any of the episodes of its only season to date.

Time will tell exactly how big a deal the Netflix/Amblin collaboration turns out to be.

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