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Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment signs deal with Netflix

Two movies per year, for an unspecified amount of time

Expect to see some movies from Amblin Entertainment, the production studio owned by Steven Spielberg, on Netflix. The streaming service has signed has signed a deal for the company to produce “multiple feature films per year.”

The agreement was publicly announced this week, with Netflix and Spielberg commenting on their new partnership. “At Amblin, storytelling will forever be at the center of everything we do, and from the minute Ted (Sarandon, 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,” Spielberg said in a statement. “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.”

In a comment, Sarandon said Netflix is “honored and thrilled to be part of this chapter of Steven’s cinematic history.” Netflix tweeted about the news, writing the company is “thrilled to announce that the legendary filmmaker’s company will produce multiple new films for Netflix each year.”

This announcement has caught many by surprise, mostly due to comments Spielberg has made about movies that were picked up by Netflix competing at the Academy Awards. “One you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie. If it’s a good show you deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar,” he said during an interview with ITV in 2018. “I don’t believe that films that are just given token qualifications in a couple of theatres for less than a week should qualify for the Academy Award nomination.”

During the same interview he said that streaming services buying smaller movies, because established Hollywood studios aren’t taking as many chances, presents a “clear and present danger” to filmgoers. In 2019, while accepting the Filmmaker Award at Cinema Audio Society’s CAS Awards, he commented that he hoped “all of us really continue to believe that the greatest contributions we can make as filmmakers is to give audiences the motion picture theatrical experience,” adding he’s a “firm believer that movie theaters need to be around forever.”

Spielberg has worked with streaming services already, helping produce documentaries and series for Netflix, Apple TV, and Paramount Plus. He’s involved in a Halo TV show that’s due to arrive next year. It’s worth noting this deal is between Netflix and Amblin Entertainment, meaning any of the resulting adventure movies, science fiction movies, or whatever else may not be directed by Spielberg himself.

This Netflix deal doesn’t affect Amblin’s ongoing collaboration with Universal, which was extended last year. Spielberg’s next movie is West Side Story, due in theatres December 10, 2021 – he’s got two entries in our best movies of all time, why not check out the rest?