Netflix’s head of cinema will leave

Netflix’s head of cinema will leave

Scott Stuber, who brought Oscar-winning filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Jane Campion and Alfonso Cuarón to Netflix and, in doing so, helped usher the entertainment industry into the streaming era, is stepping down as chairman of the cinema service, the company announced on Monday.

News of Mr. Stuber’s departure came on the eve of the Oscar nominations. During his tenure, which began in 2017, Netflix has had eight films nominated for Best Picture, although a win in that category has proven elusive.

“Scott helped usher in a new paradigm in how movies are made, distributed and watched,” Ted Sarandos, co-chief executive officer of Netflix, said in a statement. “He has attracted incredible creative talent to Netflix, making us a premier film studio.”

Although Mr. Stuber’s film selection helped significantly boost Netflix’s business, he often clashed with Mr. Sarandos over strategy. Mr. Stuber often tried to woo filmmakers by pushing for wider theatrical releases than Mr. Sarandos was willing to undertake.

Still, Netflix received the most Oscar nominations of any studio in 2020, 2021 and 2022. In addition to critical hits like Mr. Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” Ms. Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” and “Roma » by Mr. Cuarón. Mr. Stuber’s tenure produced popular hits like “Red Notice,” “Bird Box” and “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.”

He bet big on the filmmakers he wanted to attract to the studio, spending $450 million to secure two sequels to Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out” and more than $160 million for Zack Snyder’s recent release, “Rebel Moon “. Greta Gerwig, who directed and co-wrote the blockbuster “Barbie,” is also working with Netflix on adapting two films based on the “The Chronicles of Narnia” book series.

“Maestro,” a biopic of composer Leonard Bernstein that Bradley Cooper wrote, directed and stars in, is one of the Netflix films expected to earn multiple Oscar nominations this year. (Netflix will also announce its fourth-quarter results on Tuesday.)

Netflix has sometimes been criticized for favoring quantity over quality in its film strategy, a criticism Mr. Stuber acknowledged.

“I think one of the fair criticisms has been that we’re doing too much and not enough, which is great,” he said in a 2021 interview, adding: “I think what we want to do , it’s refining and making it a little less better and more awesome. .”

In a statement released Monday, Mr. Stuber thanked Mr. Sarandos and Reed Hastings, co-founder and executive chairman of Netflix, for “the incredible opportunity to join Netflix and create a new home for original films.”

“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished,” he said, “and I’m so grateful to all the filmmakers and talent who trusted us to help tell their stories.” »

Mr. Stuber is expected to leave in March and will start his own media company. Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s chief content officer, will take over Mr. Stuber’s duties when he leaves. Last year, she essentially became Mr. Stuber’s boss, placing a management layer between him and Mr. Sarandos.

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David B.Otero

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