Another week, and more money from Netflix’s reported $5 billion war chest on programming this year has been spent to bolster the offerings on the streaming site for their ever growing subscriber base.
First up, THR reports that Netflix has snapped up a ten episode, straight-to-series order for the Paramount TV production “Maniac.” It’s a half-hour dark comedy coming from Cary Fukunaga that has Emma Stone and Jonah Hill attached to star, with the “True Detective” director planning to helm all the episodes. A remake of a 2014 Norwegian series, it tells the story a man who lives a fantasy life in his dreams but in reality is locked up at an institution.
The acquisition is yet another feather in the Netflix’s cap, and if you’re wondering why top talent is continuing to gravitate to the company, you can take a look at our our essay, Disruptors: How Netflix & Amazon Are Creating Greater Tumult In The Independent Film Industry. Or you can hear it from David Ayer, whose Max Landis penned cops ‘n orcs pic “Bright” starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton just got $90 million from Netflix to get made. He couldn’t be more pleased to be working with them.
“Netflix is this disruptive company that is at the forefront of how the business is evolving,” the director told Deadline. “Sitting in the cockpit as director and looking over the horizon, you see changes happening daily. That includes [proposed and controversial premium VOD service] Screening Room. Netflix is deeply biting into cable viewership, and it’s clearly the future of the entertainment industry, which is on-demand and portable devices. To bring a flagship project into that world and have the opportunity to be the tip of the spear, I felt like we were given a hunting license to be truly creative, and to do what I love. The middle of the business, these journeyman movies, they have just gone away. Majors are interested in the hyper-specialized awards season and tentpoles, and that’s it. Playing a role in re-establishing the middle ground I like to play in as a writer and director, it just made sense. This business is bifurcating, and you follow that line and look down the road 10 years and you see where it’s going. Disruption is healthy, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of this.”
And frankly, that’s a great attitude. You can either entrench yourself in the old way of doing things, or adapt, and find new outlets to continue your career on your terms in ways that are personally and professionally rewarding. But that doesn’t mean Ayer is out of the studio game just yet. His next effort, the blockbuster “Suicide Squad,” opens on August 5th.