What's This?Producer Scott Stuber just got a big new gig.
Image: Getty Images for AFI
Netflix is getting serious about upping its movie-making game — for real this time.
The streaming giant has tapped veteran film producer Scott Stuber to head the acquisition, development and production of high profile film properties at Netflix, which is positioning itself more as a full blown Hollywood studio with every move.
And for that effort, Stuber is a big get. He previously served as co-president of production at Universal Pictures, where he helped oversee big projects including films in the Fast and the Furious franchise and A Beautiful Mind.
He currently runs production company Bluegrass Films, which is under Universal, with Dylan Clark.
“Scott is well known and respected in the film industry. His innovative work and strong talent relationships should help accelerate the Netflix original film initiative as we enter into a new phase of big global productions with some of the greatest directors, actors and writers in the film business,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. “This is an unprecedented time of change and opportunity and we look forward to having Scott lead the way as we help evolve the way films are made, distributed and celebrated around the world.”
The move was expected, though Stuber was also being courted to take over for the departing Brad Grey at Paramount, which is homing in on former 20th Century Fox head Jim Gianopulos as his replacement.
The news comes just weeks after the Oscars, where both Netflix and Amazon took home statuettes for the first time.
The popular streaming platforms have spent years paying their dues — making the rounds at all the major film festivals, courting top-tier talent and generating buzz with unique originals.
Iranian film The Salesman, which Amazon is distributing in the U.S., and Netflix's documentary The White Helmets won for Best Foreign Film and Best Documentary Short, respectively. Amazon and Roadside Attraction's Manchester by the Sea also took home two Oscars for Best Original Screenplay (Kenneth Lonergan) and Best Actor (Casey Affleck).
Last year Netflix aggressively campaigned for Beasts of No Nation, but was ultimately shut out of the Oscars race.
Its documentary division has long since reached powerhouse status; the streaming giant nabbed its first Oscar nomination in 2014 for its documentary The Square. Two years later it scored nominations for documentary features: What Happened, Miss Simone? and Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom. This year, Ava DuVernay's 13th was nominated for Best Documentary.
At the Sundance Film Festival this year, Netflix snatched nine films (including a handful of acclaimed documentaries), the most of any other studio (though Amazon paid the most for a single title, $12.5 million for The Big Sick).
Now the company is clearly hoping to make Hollywood its playground, and not just through acquisition or Adam Sandler-type deals.
In fact Netflix soon has two in-house productions coming to the service: War Machine, the David Michod-directed film which stars Brad Pitt, and the David Ayer-directed Bright, which stars Will Smith.
With the hiring of Stuber, those two films will soon be housed in a bona fide film division.Topics: Entertainment, Movies, netflix, scott-stuber, streaming services, sundance film festival, Ted Sarandos, universal studios