Last month, Disney revealed a tremendous amount of new content for its streaming service Disney +. This followed WarnerMedia’s announcement that all 17 films of that year would be available on HBO Max on the same day they debuted in theaters. And on Tuesday, Netflix – the biggest streaming service of all of them with 195 million subscribers worldwide – announced its movie list for 2021: around 70 films with Oscar winners, box office stars and a reminder of its power in a Hollywood that was irreversible during the pandemic changed.
The normally secretive company made the announcement with the help of a speedy trailer. Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot and Dwayne Johnson, the high-profile stars of “Red Notice,” Netflix’s $ 160 million entry into the PG-13 action world, started the video featuring comedies, drama, horror, family films and foreign films Films were presented. Speech films. (The company didn’t announce most of its release dates.) It ended with Adam McKay’s “Don’t Look Up,” starring Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio stepping out of an aircraft carrier, a not-so-subtle reminder of The Company that once was also attracted by renowned filmmakers and big stars, is now a giant in the industry.
“We found our way into business with some incredible world-class filmmakers,” said Scott Stuber, director of Netflix’s film division, in an interview. “People who said, ‘You will never make it’ were the easiest way personally to get me to do it.”
Director Jane Campion, an Oscar winner for “The Piano,” will make her Netflix debut with “The Power of the Dog” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst. Lin-Manuel Miranda will direct his first film, the adaptation of the stage musical “tick, tick … Boom”, while Jay-Z will collaborate with Netflix for the first time producing “The Harder They Fall”, a western starring Idris Elba, Regina King and Zazie Beetz. The company will also be releasing prestigious films The White Tiger and Malcolm & Marie (starring Zendaya and John David Washington) this month in hopes of earning Oscar recognition.
The breadth of content on Netflix tells the story of the tumult in the movie business during the pandemic. Once considered the ultimate Hollywood disruptor – the greatest threat to the very existence of the movie business – Netflix has now become a savior with its vast reach and low dependency on theatrical distribution.
As other studios declined, Netflix picked up a number of titles from the year’s film festivals, including Concrete Cowboy starring Mr. Elba, Rosamund Pike’s I Care a Lot, and Halle Berry’s directorial debut. “Bruised.” Netflix has also been able to acquire finished films from other studios, which outsourced them to fix budgets that have been decimated by the widespread movie closings. For example, Disney Netflix sold its adaptation of the bestselling novel “Woman in the Window” starring Amy Adams and directed by Joe Wright (“Atonement”). It will be available this year, as will MGM-produced buddy comedy “Bad Trip” and Sony’s animated film “Wish Dragon”. (Last year, Paramount took “The Trial of the Chicago 7” out of their hands and is now promoting Oscar examination.)
Netflix is also getting back on the genres that made it successful. The last episodes of the youth novels “To All the Boys” and “The Kissing Booth” come in 2021, as do teenage horror films such as the adaptations of Adam Nevill’s novel “No One Gets Out Alive” and “Fear Street”. Trilogy by filmmaker Leigh Janiak (“Honeymoon”).
Mr Stuber said he was encouraged that “the quality of filmmaking on Netflix continues to grow,” but would like to increase the company’s focus on big budget action films. He sees Zack Snyder’s “Army of the Dead” as an example this year, but looks beyond 2021 to films like “The Gray Man” with Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans of Joe and Anthony Russo (“The Avengers”) and a new adaptation of “The Chronicles of Narnia”.
In 2019, Mr. Stuber attempted to sign a deal with the major exhibitors to release “The Irishman” but was hampered by the theaters’ ability to exclusively show films for almost three months before switching to Netflix. That calculation has now changed as WarnerMedia completely retracted the cinema window and Universal Pictures was negotiating contracts with exhibitors such as AMC and Cinemark that included revenue sharing on premium video-on-demand sales. Mr. Stuber is still interested in negotiations with the theater chains, but will only do so when the pandemic ends.
“I think we all needed some development to give non-IP-made films a chance,” he said. “Now we’re waiting to see what happens to the theater business. When this tectonic plate ends, we can have these conversations. We are open to these discussions. “