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Ted Sarandos Signs Steven Spielberg to Netflix in Massive Movie Deal

Ted Sarandos signs Steven Spielberg to Netflix
Ted Sarandos at 2019 Golden Globes/Credit: Greek Reporter

Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos has signed on director Steven Spielberg’s company to make several films a year for the streaming service.

Spielberg is one of the top filmmakers in Hollywood, with a successful multi-decade-spanning career. He’s known for blockbuster hits including Indiana Jones, E.T., Jaws, and Oscar-winning films like Schindler’s List.

Steven Spielberg and Netflix: A Surprising Partnership

The new collaboration between Steven Spielberg’s company, Amblin Partners, and Netflix, may come as a surprise to some.

In the past, Spielberg has been critical of the rise of streaming services, especially Netflix. He believed that streaming was ruining the cinematic experience some movies deserved.

At the Cinema Audio Society’s Awards in 2019, Spielberg stated, “I hope all of us really continue to believe that the greatest contributions we can make as filmmakers is to give audiences the motion picture theatrical experience.”

The director also felt it was unfair that Netflix films, which usually enjoy a very limited theatrical release solely to qualify for awards, should be considered for most major awards shows.

Even in 2019, Spielberg admitted that the quality in writing, production, and cinematography in television and streaming had become better than ever. However, he still seemed to want to keep full-blown cinematic experiences in movie theaters and not direct to streaming.

A New Chapter for Spielberg

Though Amblin is Spielberg’s company, Spielberg does not directly all, or even most, of the production company’s movies. Some Amblin films without Spielberg at the helm include “1917” and “Green Book”.

However, Spielberg was still intimately involved in negotiations with Netflix and the resulting agreement. It seems his views on streaming have changed over the years, especially as Netflix and Amazon shows continue to dominate award nominations at the Oscars and Golden Globes.

Regarding his new agreement with the streaming giant, Spielberg stated the following: “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”.

A Giant Win For Netflix

For Sarandos, bringing one of the most universally beloved and recognized filmmakers of all time into the Netflix family is a big win. Though Netflix is still at the forefront of the current available streaming services, competition has been intensifying.

Streaming services such as Disney+, HBO Max and NBC’s Peacock ended up taking a lot of fan favorite content from Netflix. This includes often-rewatched series like “Friends” and “The Office”.

Netflix has been pumping out original content from countries around the world to stay on top. However, they are also focusing on acquiring as much new content as possible, as well as forming partnerships with top artists in Hollywood to expand their content library.

Steven Spielberg’s move to Netflix is perhaps another sign that the streaming giant will likely remain on top. Even with new services such as Paramount+, Peacock, and others popping up, many industry insiders believe that Netflix, under the innovative direction of Sarandos, is here to stay.

Related: Watch Ted Sarandos talking about the global expansion of Netflix

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