Netflix, set to spend upwards of $8 billion on content in 2018, will have in the neighborhood of 700 original TV shows on the service worldwide this year, according to CFO David Wells.
The huge bucket of content is driving up Netflix’s subscriber base, said Wells, speaking Tuesday at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference. The “700-range” figure he cited includes 80 non-English-language original productions from outside the U.S., such as psychological thriller “Dark” from Germany and “Club de Cuervos” from Mexico. The total encompasses both new and existing original series (such as “Orange Is the New Black” and “Narcos”).
The company’s strategy continues to be, “Let’s continue to add content — it’s working, it’s driving growth,” Wells said.
Asked how much content spending is enough for Netflix, Wells replied that “there’s no magic line where you know exactly where you are” in terms of efficiency. In addition to original series, Netflix is planning to release 80 original films in 2018, chief content officer Ted Sarandos said last fall.
Hard to imagine there will be a hotter film package unveiled at Cannes next week than 355, a large-scale espionage film that Simon Kinberg will direct with an all-star international spy cast of Jessica Chastain, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Fan Bingbing and Lupita Nyong’o. They’ll play international agents in a grounded, edgy action thriller that aims to alter a male-dominated genre with a true female ensemble, in the style of spy franchises The Bourne Identity, Mission: Impossible and James Bond. The script is by Theresa Rebeck. The hope is to launch a franchise.
Kinberg just directed and Chastain starred in X-Men: Dark Phoenix. The idea for 355 came from Chastain, and she pitched it to him while they worked on that superhero film on which Kinberg made his feature directing debut. It didn’t take long for Chastain to get commitments from the filmmaker, and the actresses.
“I had so much fun working on The Help that I always wanted to do another female ensemble film,” Chastain told Deadline. “I love the Bourne movies, the Mission: Impossible films, and wondered why, except for Charlie’s Angels, there hadn’t been a true female ensemble action-thriller spy film. That got my wheels going, along with the idea of casting actresses from all over the world to truly make it an international project. I realized the incredible creative freedom we would have with that. I brought the idea to Simon, told him about the actresses I was thinking of, and he was so sweet. He said, ‘I want to do it with you.’
“Then I called all the women, told them what I was envisioning and that I wanted it to be a collaborative process, and how we would all create this together,” Chastain said. “The one thing that felt important is that we all show up at Cannes, because that would be the beginning of our journey together. Every single actress I called said yes, on the phone call. They committed to Cannes and to everything. So far it has been a very wonderfully easy process.”
The film involves these top agents from organizations around the world uniting to stop a global organization from acquiring a weapon that could plunge an already unstable world into total chaos. They have to overcome cultural and political differences to form a bond and work together.
“What we can say is, they come up against an organization larger than the established spy organizations we’ve known up to this point,” said Kinberg, long the creative spine of the X-Men franchise and who’s separately writing and producing a Star Wars film. “We are hoping to create a franchise with this, and the first film will be the agents coming together.”....
...The other thing that was important was to broaden the opportunities and expectations for women in this #MeToo moment, something that means a great deal to Chastain and her co-stars.
“The action genre has long been dominated by male heroes, and it’s so exciting to be part of a film that will allow for not just one female action hero but a whole ensemble of very capable, fierce female characters that reject tired stereotypes,” she said. “Characters that liberate from the confines of stereotypical traits. That is something that excited me about this, the opportunity to create different types of female heroes.”
To make the Disney-branded service as robust as possible, Disney will allow a lucrative licensing deal with Netflix to expire. Starting with “Captain Marvel” in March, all of the films that Walt Disney Studios releases in theaters will subsequently flow to the Disney streaming platform instead of to Netflix.
I hope this shit flops. Don't wanna pay for another streaming service.
In a first wave changes being rolled out, the site will add podcasts and video movie reviews to its mix of scores instead of just written ones. Also, the site will relax its critic certification process to allow prolific reviewers who might not be full-time employees of a known publication to get their self-published reviews on the site. Rotten Tomatoes is considering tweaking other aspects of its platform as well.
Honestly I think that's totally fair. We live in a world where text is becoming less and less the main platform for pretty much everything. Especially podcasts are exploding in popularity these days. I think it's more about adjusting to the society and less about trying to be relevant for the clicks or whatever.
It can't really compare to what the Oscars have done with the new category for example.