The director undertakes, via his company Amblin Partners, to produce several films per year for the platform.

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 statement released on Monday also did not specify whether 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.

Netflix films not “eligible” for the Oscars

During the promotional tour for his film Ready Player One, in 2018, the American director had openly criticized the way in which streaming platforms contented themselves with showing certain films only for one week, in a very limited number of theaters, only to allow them to meet the eligibility criteria at the Oscars. For him, these feature films should not have “Be eligible” to an Oscar nomination, he told UK 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 New York Times, claiming never to have had any opposition to the platforms. Since then, Steven Spielberg has directed episodes of the series for the Apple TV + service. Amazing Stories, uploaded in March 2020.

For the 74-year-old director and producer, the partnership announced on Monday is “A fantastic opportunity to tell new stories together” with Netflix “And to address spectators in new ways”, said Steven Spielberg, quoted in the statement. Amblin Partners remains contractually engaged with Universal Pictures, its historical partner, in the distribution of feature films.

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