Steven Spielberg Calls Production Deal With Netflix 'Incredibly Fulfilling'

The 'West Side Story' director signs the deal to make movies for the streaming giant around two years after suggesting that films debuting on streaming services should be excluded from Academy Awards.

AceShowbiz - Acclaimed director Steven Spielberg has stunned fans by signing a new deal to make movies for Netflix, after once insisting films are best viewed on big screens.

The Oscar winner shared the news of the new collaboration on Monday, June 21, explaining he and his staff members at Amblin Partners will continue to produce exclusive content for longtime studio partners Universal Pictures, while also creating what are expected to be "multiple" movies each year for the streaming giant.

Spielberg said in a statement, "At Amblin, storytelling will forever be at the center of everything we do, and from the minute [Netflix chief] Ted [Sarandos] 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."

"This new avenue for our films, alongside the stories we continue to tell with our longtime family at Universal and our other partners, will be incredibly fulfilling for me personally since we get to embark on it together with Ted, and I can't wait to get started with him, Scott [Stuber, Netflix head of Global Film], and the entire Netflix team."

Sarandos also shared his excitement about teaming with "creative visionary and leader" Spielberg after being personally "shaped by his memorable characters and stories."

"We cannot wait to get to work with the Amblin team and we are honored and thrilled to be part of this chapter of Steven's cinematic history," he added.

The announcement marks an apparent change of heart for Spielberg - back in 2019, when Alfonso Cuaron's Spanish-language Netflix hit "Roma" was nominated for 10 Oscars, eventually winning three, he suggested Academy Awards rules should be changed to exclude films that debut on streaming services, arguing they should be eligible for TV awards the Emmys instead.

"Steven feels strongly about the difference between the streaming and theatrical situation," an Amblin spokesperson told Indiewire at the time. "He'll be happy if the others will join [his campaign] when that comes up [at the Academy's Governors meeting]."

Now it seems the "Schindler's List" filmmaker has softened his stance towards streaming platforms after Amblin-produced film "The Trial of the Chicago 7", written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, debuted on Netflix to huge acclaim last year (2020), before earning six 2021 Oscar nominations.

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