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SYFY WIRE Development

Development roundup: Netflix joins the MPAA; Amazon releasing Expanse Season 3 on Feb. 8

By Josh Weiss

Today's roundup of genre development news is as eclectic as they come.

We've got a major entertainment player joining Hollywood's premier rating board.

Then Germany will be facing a future with no women via a world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival.

Finally, it's over to Amazon Prime, which is about to stream the third season of a beloved sci-fi series that drops a new season this year.

Netflix is taking one more step that can place it in line with the traditional studio system.

After initial reports that Netflix was in talks to join the Motion Picture Association of America, or MPAA (the official organization that decides what age groups can see which movies), a decision from the six ruling studios has been reached.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix will officially be the first non-studio to become a member of the MPAA. This is the first time a "non-Hollywood studio" is being welcomed into the group. The move has been ratified by all six ruling studios— Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros.

Charlie Rifkin, chairman-CEO of the MPAA, made the following statement: "On behalf of the MPAA and its member companies, I am delighted to welcome Netflix as a partner. All of our members are committed to pushing the film and television industry forward, in both how we tell stories and how we reach audiences." He continued, "Adding Netflix will allow us to even more effectively advocate for the global community of creative storytellers, and I look forward to seeing what we can all achieve together.”

Netflix’s entree into the MPAA comes on the heels of its anointment as a major Oscar player, having racked up 15 nominations on Tuesday morning.

The MPAA was reportedly looking for new members because it will lose Fox once it merges with Disney. This means an estimated loss of $10 - $12 million a year in membership fees/dues. As such, it's also looking at Amazon as another possible addition.

Right now, certain Netflix films are rated using the standardized television system. For example, movies like Extinction and Cargo are designated as TV-MA, whereas Mowgli and the ever-popular Bird Box have normal ratings, PG-13 and R.

Up next, Casey Affleck's latest directorial effort, Light of My Life, will make its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in Germany next month, SYFY WIRE confirms. It is part of the event's Panorama lineup.

Also written by Affleck, the film is described as a "post-apocalyptic family drama" about a father (played by the filmmaker) and daughter trapped in the woods. In this future, there are no more women, which means that "gender roles have to be renegotiated."

Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid's Tale, Us) is part of the cast.

The Berlin Film Festival will run Feb. 7-17.

Lastly, Amazon has announced that Season 3 of The Expanse is set to drop on Prime Feb. 8, according to Variety. The first two seasons are already streaming.

This was the final season aired on SYFY before the series — based on the James S.A. Corey novels — was canceled and picked up by uber fan Jeff Bezos.

Season 4, the first new season at Amazon, will debut later this year.

UPDATE: This story was originally published Tuesday morning and updated at 5:50 p.m.