The cultural phenomenon of “Netflix and chill” is disrupting and progressing the entertainment business at a rapid pace. With Emmy-winning original content like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, Netflix has quickly become a major power player in Hollywood.
Filmmakers and media moguls have raved about the creative freedom the Netflix models allows for. From Stranger Things’ Duffer Brothers to Chelsea Handler, feelings of gratitude for the direct-to-consumer style of storytelling abound. Without the need to please a broad audience for the purposes of selling carefully marketed advertising, it seems like working for Netfllix could very well be a dream scenario for creative types. And apparently, they’re hiring.
Scott Stuber is the latest to step into the ring. Stuber is known as the producer behind a laundry list of major hits like Ted, Patriots Day, Love and Other Drugs, and Role Models to name a few. He also served as co-head of production of Universal Pictures in the early 2000s, and now according to THR, it looks like he is in talks to run Netflix’s feature film production initiative.
It's not a lock though, as Stuber is said to also be considering a position at Paramount, having met recently with Viacom CEO Bob Bakish. Paramount, though, would offer less creative control than Netflix, as Stuber would share his greenlighting power with a committee. At Netflix, Stuber could have more exclusive say.
While Netflix has been leading in the industry with series-based content, its film division hasn't been as successful. In this year’s Academy Awards, major competitor Amazon was represented with its property Manchester By the Sea, which was nominated for Best Picture and received the golden statue for Best Actor (Casey Affleck) and Best Original Screenplay (Kenneth Lonergan). Netflix had no feature-length films represented (though it did back the Oscar-winning documentary short, The White Helmets).
With this realization, it’s no surprise Netflix is aiming to level up, and Stuber might be just the right man for the job. However, his record is not perfect. The 2012 film Battleship, on which he was a producer, bombed at the box office with an estimated budget of $209,000,000 and a U.S. gross of just $65,173,160 ($302,836,260 Worldwide). One bad bomb in the wake of a dozen hits, though, does not make for a bad career. In fact, perhaps some valuable lessons were learned that could now potentially benefit Netflix.
There is no official word on whether Stuber will join the ranks of Netflix or not, but it is exciting to see the streaming service aiming to grow and compete in the film market. Perhaps with some new direction, we could see the Netflix better represented next time we “Oscars and Chill”.