Netflix Inc.’s surprise $300 million deal to poach Ryan Murphy from 21st Century Fox Inc. shows just how easy it’s getting for rich tech companies to steal Hollywood’s top talent.
Netflix, which released its first original series just six years ago, has now lured two of the most successful producers in TV — Murphy and Shonda Rhimes — from two of the industry’s most valuable companies. Rhimes, the producer of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” bolted from Walt Disney Co.’s ABC in August.
No longer content to license shows from other media companies, Netflix and fellow technology giant Amazon.com Inc. are throwing money at Hollywood’s top talent to lure them away from those studios. They are upending the TV business in the process, driving up the cost of talent and weakening many of the traditional powers.
Hollywood studios have endured threats from outsiders before, but the list of talent making the jump grows by the day.
Netflix, with an annual budget of $8 billion, is paying Murphy, the producer of “American Horror Story,” about $300 million over five years to make shows and movies for the streaming service. The money will support overhead for Ryan Murphy Productions along with his fees for writing, directing and producing.
Murphy was in the process of negotiating a new deal at Fox when Disney agreed to buy its crosstown rival for more than $52 billion. Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger made a personal call to Murphy, assuring him that “the reason Disney was interested in buying Fox is they believed in the assets and the executives and their creators,” the producer recalled. “He was very sweet and transparent and kind.”
Rhimes was the biggest name to leave traditional TV for streaming when she announced she was signing a long-term deal with Netflix. She’d worked at ABC for more than a decade, becoming one of the few showrunners and TV writers known to the public.
Rhimes is also one of the few prominent black showrunners in Hollywood, and has led the way in creating more diversity onscreen. Netflix gave her more than $100 million to ease the transition in a multiyear deal.
Robert Kirkman, the creator of cable TV’s biggest hit, “The Walking Dead,” signed a two-year deal with Amazon last August, days before Netflix announced its deal with Rhimes. Amazon spent an estimated $4.5 billion on video programming last year and plans to increase its budget this year. Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won the Golden Globe award for best TV comedy.
Netflix knows its customers love comic book movies and TV shows thanks to a pair of deals with Disney, owner of Marvel Studios. So last year it acquired the company that published graphic novels “Wanted” and “Kick-Ass,” both of which were adapted into hit movies for Universal Pictures.
Netflix and Millarworld founder Mark Millar will jointly produce films, series and children’s shows based on comic-book characters for the streaming service, while the publisher will also continue to make comics under the Netflix label. The streaming service will turn some of Millar’s other creations into film and TV properties that can replace Marvel when its deal with Disney ends.
New Golden Boy
Shawn Levy rose through the ranks of Hollywood by directing comedy films for major studios, including “Cheaper by the Dozen” and “Night at the Museum.” Yet he has since been reborn as one of the hottest producers in TV thanks to “Stranger Things,” the surprise Netflix fantasy hit. The streaming service locked up Levy’s TV business last year, and now funnels all kinds of high-concept projects his way.
Amazon has also allied itself with Sharon Horgan, the British comic and actress who created its critically beloved comedy “Catastrophe.” Though Horgan has a show on HBO (“Divorce”), Amazon gets first dibs on all future work.
Princess Diana was set to star in sequel to The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner
Actor has confirmed the late Princess of Wales was keen to play role after conversations instigated by Sarah Ferguson
“Kevin Costner has confirmed that the late Princess of Wales was set to star alongside him in a sequel to 1992 hit The Bodyguard, in which he starred as an agent assigned to protect a pop star played by Whitney Houston.
Speaking to PeopleTV, Costner said that he, Diana and producers were eager to get the project off the ground.”
The 10 best films of 2019 (so far)
“It’s been a rough ride, but here we finally are at the end of a long year. Pop the champagne! Raise your glasses! We’ve done it, guys! We’ve suffered and struggled and lived to tell the tale!
Except, wait… what’s that you’re telling me? We’re only halfway through 2019? And we need to do all of this all over again before we’re finally done with this year?
Well, at least we’ve got the movies to help pass the time. The first half of 2019 has already given us so many new films to treasure — to laugh at, marvel at, ponder, or feel omg-so-SEEN by. Here are some of our favorites so far:
10. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
The third entry in the John Wick saga digs ever deeper into the gloriously absurd mythology of this particular underworld, turning up killer dogs, gold-minting factories, punctilious bureaucrats, and even a handful of gushing John Wick fanboys………………………”
Why the dance numbers in the new ‘Aladdin’ are so disappointing
‘Remember the steps. Remember your training. Do not embarrass us.’
“Disney’s highly anticipated Aladdin is here, but we know better than to expect anything groundbreaking from another needless live-action adaptation. While remake has pleasantly surprised most critics with colorful costumes and charismatic leads, Aladdin‘s signature songs are its biggest disappointment.
From Mashable’s own Angie Han: “Guy Ritchie and his team seem to have no idea how to stage and shoot a musical number,” which is precisely the opposite of what you want to hear about the director of a movie musical (much less one who was married to Madonna).
So, where and how did Aladdin botch its opportunities for movie musical greatness? Let us count the ways.
Aladdin is tricky to negotiate from a representational standpoint because it was never based on one specific culture. The animated film was an amalgam of Middle Eastern and South Asian visual inspirations, and the live-action takes this at face value, doing the same and adding literally nothing to it. This piece references Bollywood dance numbers a few times, not because of any confusion about where Aladdin takes place, but because India has a booming film industry that thrives on movie musicals that Disney would’ve done well to study…………………………………………………”