Scott Stuber, chief of Netflix’s film division, has had a spotty track record. His team has followed the TV side of things in buying up a wide range of properties that debut to mixed reviews, but still pale in comparison to their episodic cousins. So why do Netflix’s movies fail to have the same heft as their shows? Insiders have some ideas — and Netflix has a plan to change it.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, some of Netflix’s foibles in the world of movies supposedly stems from company lack of established intellectual property to launch franchises with. That’s being semi-addressed by fantasy cop drama Bright — which, despite all odds, is getting a sequel — and the manga adaptation Death Note, which is also having a sequel developed.
The latter film earned slightly better reviews than Bright, which gave Netflix enough confidence to hire Greg Russo to draft a script for a follow-up film. Russo has so far been associated with upcoming Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil movies, so it will be interesting to see how the filmmaker, with his video-game-focused resume, will adapt a property that shares a genre if not a medium.
But the streaming service doesn’t aim to settle for franchises built on cult anime horror. In fact, Stuber’s team now is apparently telling industry movers and shakers that it wants blockbusters “as big as Marvel superhero pics and Lord of the Rings-style fantasy fare” or awards-focused films that will make their mark on the critical circuit.
While Amazon is developing its LotR TV series, there’s plenty of room for Netflix to create a huge sci-fi world — and with Sony entering the ring, everyone and their evil twin seems to be creating a superhero universe. Interestingly, however, whatever franchise the team hopes to nurture will likely be genre. You just don’t get that big without it.
What would you want to see Netflix bring to life?