The partnership does not mean that the director will direct feature films for Netflix himself, the agreement concerning Amblin, his production company.
Director Steven Spielberg has signed an agreement through his company Amblin Partners to produce several films per year for Netflix, a further sign of normalization of relations between Hollywood and the platform. The partnership does not necessarily mean that the director will direct feature films for Netflix himself, the deal concerning Amblin, which has produced, in recent years, “1917”, “Green Book: On the roads of the south” (Oscar for Best Picture 2020) or “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”. The press release published on Monday, June 21, also did not specify whether the films produced for Netflix would benefit from a theatrical release.
Created in 2015, Amblin Partners is the union of several production companies, including DreamWorks Pictures, separate from DreamWorks Animation, which produces animated films. The agreement between Amblin and Netflix marks a turning point for Steven Spielberg, who has long been quite critical of streaming, particularly worried about the threat it posed to theatrical cinema.
During the promotional tour of his film “Ready Player One”, in 2018, the American director openly criticized the way in which streaming platforms were content to put certain films on display for only one week, in a very limited number. rooms, only to enable them to meet Oscar eligibility criteria. For him, these feature films should not have “been eligible” for an Oscar nomination, he told British channel ITV.
“Once you commit to a television format, you are a TV movie,” added the director twice awarded the Oscar for best director. In April 2019, he rectified the situation in an interview with the New York Times, claiming never to have had any opposition to the platforms. Since then, Steven Spielberg has produced episodes of the “Amazing Stories” series for the Apple TV + service, released in March 2020.
For the 74-year-old director and producer, the partnership announced Monday is “a fantastic opportunity to tell new stories together” with Netflix “and to reach viewers in new ways,” said Steven Spielberg, quoted in the press release. Amblin Partners remains contractually engaged with Universal Pictures, its historical partner, in the distribution of feature films.