David Sims has a longer piece in The Atlantic about how Martin Scorsese’s next film, which sounds very much in the tradition of his gangster epics Casino and Goodfellas, will be coming from… Netflix?
I’ve read several pieces about this news over the past few days and all of them mark how this seems to herald a change — but this piece goes a bit more in-depth in terms of what this might mean or not mean for the entertainment industry.
This isn’t “tech industry disrupts existing industry” in the archetypical narrative we’ve come to know. Amazon isn’t implicated in the shuttering studios like it is for ending brick-and-mortar bookstores. Netflix isn’t supplanting taxis like Lyft and Uber.
In short, Amazon and Netflix aren’t changing how movies are being made. They’re still hiring the same cast and crews a Hollywood studio might have. They’re not making movies more cheaply. In fact, if anything, Netflix appears to be overpaying for many of its movies and TV series in an effort to establish a lot of content. Basically, Amazon and Netflix are some of the new financiers.
However, if you look at the Hollywood studios, they are mainly the same as they have been for decades. Even the movie theaters, which are surely hurting and facing new pressures on all sides, remain a huge source of distribution income for studio films. So this move of Netflix to fill the gap of a project that might previously be deemed quite “bankable” by the studios (and movie theaters) did catch my eye. What will this mean for the future?