The director and producer Steven Spielberg is considered the grand master of Hollywood cinema – he has always been critical of streaming portals. Now Netflix and Spielberg’s production company Amblin Partners have announced that they will work together on several films per year in the future.
In 2018, Spielberg spoke out in an interview with the British broadcaster ITV in favor of excluding productions from streaming providers such as Netflix, Amazon or Hulu from the Oscars – they correspond more to TV productions than cinema films: “I think so for wrong that films that only show a week in the cinema are allowed for the Oscars. “
Cinema is Steven Spielberg’s great passion – and with no other name is Hollywood cinema from the 1970s to today so closely linked as with his: “The Great White Shark”, “Schindler’s List”, “ET”, “Jurassic Park” , the Indiana Jones series and “Saving Private Ryan” are just a few of the American’s best-known blockbusters.
Cinema must take more account of streaming offers
That this Steven Spielberg, or rather his production company Amblan Partners, has now signed a multi-year contract for several films per year with Netflix seems quite surprising.
But times have changed significantly, not least because of the corona pandemic and the cinema closings in 2020, for both the cinema industry and the streaming portals.
More in-house productions make the difference
The purchase of MGM Studios by Amazon at the end of May 2021 caused quite a stir in the highly competitive streaming market. The online group, which is still the market leader with its own streaming service Amazon Prime, has thus secured the rights to 21,000 TV and cinema productions – including the James Bond series.
Negotiations have been going on for some time, and according to press reports, it is now official: The Internet company Amazon has acquired the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film studio for 8.45 billion US dollars. MGM owns a part of the rights to the James Bond film series, the Rocky Balboa films and classics such as “Ben Hur” and “Doctor Zhivago”
Netflix, which was in second place in Germany in 2020 with a market share of almost 24 percent, are also feeling the competition from the now established Disney offshoot Disney +.
For all companies, the in-house production of exclusive films for their portals is therefore becoming an even more important factor: Netflix produced 60 major feature films with big names such as Tom Hanks in 2020, which will be published on the platform in the course of 2021. In the long run, however, it is difficult for companies to cope with production costs on their own.
This is where the partnership with Amblin Partners should take effect: “We will always focus on telling stories,” explained Spielberg in the joint press release with Netflix: “We have the wonderful opportunity to tell new stories together and to tell new stories in new ways To reach viewers. “
Things are moving forward with the Netflix original documentary about the life of the American conductor Leonard Bernstein: Shooting should start in April 2021. Bradley Cooper stars and directs. Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg are co-producers.
Streaming expert Martin Baumann in conversation with SWR Aktuell on the announcement of Steven Spielberg’s Netflix deal: