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Spielberg Inks Shocking Movie Deal With Netflix: 'We Cannot Wait to Get to Work'

It is unclear whether or not Spielberg himself will direct any of the new feature films.

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It’s no surprise that the influx of streaming-service platforms has made making major movies straight-to-streaming a top choice for directors and production companies.

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With the movie-theater industry taking a huge hit in the past year due to pandemic-related restrictions, streaming platforms had an entirely new advantage.

In a surprising move, streaming behemoth Netflix has announced that it has inked a deal with legendary director Steven Spielberg's production company that will give Netflix rights to several feature films by Spielberg’s company each year.

The company, Amblin Partners, is responsible for the production of Oscar winning films Green Book and 1917 and has grossed an estimated total of a whopping $385 million in the box office globally.

Related: Netflix's New Shuffle Feature Will Help You Choose What to Watch

Spielberg sits as chairman of Amblin alongside CEO Jeff Small.

“At Amblin, storytelling will forever be at the center of everything we do,” Spielberg said in a statement. “Fom the minute Ted [Sarandos, Netflix Co-CEO] 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.”

It is unclear whether or not Spielberg himself will direct any of the new feature films.

The move is a major win for Netflix and the streaming industry as a whole, proving the legitimacy of streaming platforms and the opportunity they present for films to reach an even wider and more diverse audience.

Related: The Investor Who Missed the Chance to Make Millions With Netflix

“Steven is a creative visionary and leader and, like so many others around the world, my growing up was shaped by his memorable characters and stories that have been enduring, inspiring and awakening,” Sarandos said on behalf of Netflix. “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.”

Spielberg's multifilm deal will have him joining the ranks alngside other iconic directors Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee who have also produced movies for the streaming platform.

The partnership comes as a shock to many after Spielberg went on the record in March 2018 criticizing the notion of streaming platforms, calling them a “clear and present danger” to cinema and the movie-theater industry.

“I don’t believe films that are just given token qualifications in a couple of theaters for less than a week should qualify for the Academy Award nomination,” he said at the time about whether or not made-to-stream films should be considered for Oscar nomination. “Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie. The good show deserves an Emmy, but not an Oscar.”

Netflix is currently up over 6% year over year.

Related: Netflix 'Test' Pushes Password Sharers to Get Their Own Account

Emily Rella

Written By

Entrepreneur Staff

Emily Rella is a news writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media, covering entertainment, pop culture, lifestyle, entrepreneuership and business. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native.