Netflix 93-million dollar Will Smith movie deal creating a lot of ‘noise’ in Hollywood

Mar 21, 2016 | Arts

Image courtesy of Global Panorama on Flickr.

Image courtesy of Global Panorama on Flickr.

Ryan Durgy

The landscape of movie releases is constantly changing and there’s no doubt the influx of streaming services like Netflix have influenced that.

Although Netflix does not release ratings for their programs, many of their original series have been renewed and continue to be a hit with fans around the world, legitimizing the platform as a powerhouse content creator.

Netflix is shaking things up in the movie industry again by winning a bidding war against Warner Bros. for  a new movie starring Will Smith called Bright, putting in 93-million dollars towards the film, according to Deadline.

“It’s a huge number and they’re making a lot of noise with it,” Hollywood director and producer Deran Sarafian told Humber News.

Deran Sarafian, director and executive producer for Netflix’s first season of the original series, Hemlock Grove, and investor in the service, told Humber News that the deal solidifies Netflix’s place in Hollywood.

“With this big move, they are going to become the biggest movie studio out there,” Sarafian said. “No doubt. Everybody is looking to them, I guarantee they’re lining up as we speak.”

Sarafian said Netflix’s huge offer for Bright was smart and created additional advertising for the service.

“It’s a huge number and they’re making a lot of noise with it,” Sarafian said.

Before working and investing in Netflix, Sarafian had worked as a producer on television with shows such as the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation series and House M.D. and films such as Terminal Velocity and Gunmen.

He is also directing and executive producing a new NBC show premiering April 12, called Game of Silence.

Sarafian said society is on the cusp of change with the ways films and television series are consumed.

“When I did Hemlock Grove for Netflix, I knew that was the future. I invested in Netflix because binge-watching began with Netflix,” he said.

The Netflix deal comes on the heels of reports that entrepreneurs Sean Parker and Prem Akkaraju are starting an in-home entertainment streaming service that would bring movies to people’s homes the same day they hit theatres. Directors like Christopher Nolan and James Cameron both oppose the the proposed service, while directors Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams and Peter Jackson all support the plan.

Sarafian said the changes are for the better.

“Media is changing big time especially with home entertainment. Families can’t afford to spend that much money to take their kids to movies, so I think it’s going to be a great thing,” he said.

“I grew up with movies in the theatres but this change is inevitable…to compete with Netflix [the studios] got to have their first run movies that can be watched in the house,” he said.