Steven Spielberg Hooks Up With Netflix Through Amblin Partners

One of the most well-known film creators of the last 50 years signed a deal with streaming giant Netflix Inc NFLX.

What Happened: Amblin Partners, the movie studio led by Steven Spielberg, announced a partnership with Netflix for future films.

Spielberg said the Netflix deal will help Amblin tell new stories and reach new audiences. The company believes the deal will help it produce multiple movies for another partner.

“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 (Sarandos) and I can’t wait to get started with him, Scott and the entire Netflix team,” Spielberg said.

Amblin has an existing deal with Universal Pictures, a segment of AT&T T.

“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," said Sarandos, Netflix's co-CEO and chief content officer.

Related Link: Netflix Shares Fall On Lower Q1 Subscription Growth, What Investors Should Know  

Why It’s Important: Spielberg was one of the last blockbuster directors who hadn't signed a deal with a streaming platform. David Fincher and Martin Scorsese have featured films on Netflix.

Amblin has released several award winning movies like “Green Book,” “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “1917” in recent years.

Given Spielberg’s history in the film industry, Amblin has attracted investments from Alibaba Group Holding BABA, Comcast CMCSA, Reliance Entertainment and Entertainment One, now owned by Hasbro Inc HAS.

The large investors give Amblin access in international markets with Alibaba distributing the films in China. Entertainment One has deals to release movies in several European markets. Reliance releases Amblin movies in India.

The new streaming partnership could be a negative for Universal as it could mean increased competition for Amblin movies, but could also increase the valuation of Amblin, which the company owns a stake in. 

The Netflix deal comes with no restrictions on budgets or genres and could allow Amblin to take some risks or produce some high-budget movies with Netflix providing backing and allowing Spielberg likely full control.

Amblin has an upcoming semi-autobiographical movie about Spielberg with Paul Dano and Michelle Williams that is expected to be part of the Universal deal. Other upcoming movies like “The Last Voyage of the Dementor,” “Easter Sunday,” “The Good House” and “Distant” could be a part of the Netflix deal.

Price Action: Shares of Netflix are down 1% to $494.52 on Monday.

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