Netflix, Steven Spielberg make film deal

The next Steven Spielberg blockbuster may be first seen on the small screen thanks to a new deal inked between the iconic filmmaker and Netflix.

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Netflix and Spielberg’s Amblin Partners have agreed to make several new films for the streaming platform.

The deal will not impact Spielberg’s long-term connection with Universal Pictures, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Netflix, according to The Wall Street Journal, is still the most popular streaming service, but Amazon, Disney+, HBO Max and Peacock are closing in.

Amblin Partners could have its features on the platform by later this year, but Netflix already has 60 films in production for 2021 release.

Spielberg said of the deal, “Storytelling will forever be at the center of everything we do.” He added, “It was abundantly clear that we had an amazing opportunity to tell new stories together and reach audiences in new ways,” CNN reported.

Spielberg has in the past been vocal about whether films released made by streaming services that are first shown in the home should or should not be considered for Oscars.

He said that the films should be considered a TV movie if they’re premiered on streaming services.

“You certainly, if it’s a good show, deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar,” Spielberg had said, The Wall Street Journal reported.

He said that the way people consume entertainment was changing after he and his studio had deals with Apple, Hulu and Amazon, but maintained that there are times that people need to go to a theater.

“I want people to find their entertainment in any form or fashion that suits them,” he told the New York Times in 2019. “Big screens, small screen — what really matters to me is a great story, and everyone should have access to great stories.”

Spielberg also said, “However, I feel people need to have the opportunity to leave the safe and familiar of their lives and go to a place where they can sit in the company of others and have a shared experience — cry together, laugh together, be afraid together — so that when it’s over they might feel a little less like strangers. I want to see the survival of movie theaters. I want the theatrical experience to remain relevant in our culture.”

The details of the Netflix/Amblin deal have not been released, but it is known to be a multi-year partnership. Financial details were not disclosed and neither was information as to whether Spielberg would direct any of the Netflix-destined films, CNN reported.