From ‘Vocal Holdout’ to Partner: Inside Steven Spielberg’s Shocking New Netflix Deal

·1-min read

Netflix scored a major coup on Monday by signing a multipicture deal with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners — just two years after the Oscar-winning director criticized streamers for ruining the “motion picture theatrical experience” with their eagerness to bypass theaters and release movies exclusively for at-home audiences. “Steven was a vocal holdout opposing Netflix,” one top producer told TheWrap, offering praise for Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos. “You can bet Ted showered him with beaucoup money and controls. I scarcely think he’ll be answering to (Netflix head of original films) Scott Stuber. In one fell swoop, Netflix gets an A+ filmmaker name and silences a critic. Smart.” Others, however, are skeptical that this move represents a huge change of heart for Spielberg, who told ITV News in 2018, “Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie.” In that same interview, he said he didn’t believe that “films that are given token qualifications, in a couple of theaters for less than a week, should qualify for the Academy Award nomination.” A rep for Amblin said that Spielberg remains committed to the theatrical experience, and that this new deal doesn’t change the company’s ongoing production deal with Universal Pictures, which...

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