Stephen Spielberg has signed a deal for his production company to make “multiple” films for Netflix each year, despite the director previously suggesting their content should be locked out of the Oscars.
The legendary filmmaker, known for Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and Schindler’s List, inked the deal for his company Amblin Partners to make films for Netflix.
Spielberg has been repeatedly critical of streaming content in the past, suggesting in 2018 that Netflix’s film releases should be barred from the Academy Awards because he does not consider them cinema.
He had said: “Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie. You certainly, if it’s a good show, deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar.”
However, Spielberg later denied mounting a formal push to ban streaming content from the Oscars, insisting: “I want people to find their entertainment in any form or fashion that suits them. Big screen, small screen — what really matters to me is a great story and everyone should have access to great stories.”
In a statement on Monday, Spielberg spoke much more effusively of Netflix boss Ted Sarandos and the chance to explore “new ways” to reach people.
He said: “At Amblin, storytelling will forever be at the center of everything we do, and from the minute Ted 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… and the entire Netflix team.”
Netflix tweeted: “Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners is teaming up with Netflix! Thrilled to announce that the legendary filmmaker’s company will produce multiple new films for Netflix each year.”
Mr Sarandos said: “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.
“We cannot wait to get to work with the Amblin team and we are honoured and thrilled to be part of this chapter of Steven’s cinematic history.”
It remains unclear whether the cinematic titan will personally helm films for Netflix, with his company helping produce a number of works outside of Spielberg’s own releases.
It is the latest big-name coup for Netflix, who have previously inked deals with industry heavyweights including Ryan Murphy, Charlie Brooker and Shonda Rhimes, on top of eye-catching agreements with Barack and Michelle Obama, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.