Netflix’s Head of Film, Scott Stuber, Is Departing

Netflix’s Head of Film, Scott Stuber, Is Departing

Scott Stuber, who brought Oscar-winning filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Jane Campion and Alfonso Cuarón to Netflix and helped usher the entertainment industry into the streaming era, is leaving as film chairman, the company said Monday.

News of Mr. Stuber’s departure came on the eve of the Oscar nominations. During his tenure, which began in 2017, eight Netflix films were nominated for best picture, but there was no win in the category.

“Scott has helped lead the new paradigm for how films are produced, distributed and viewed,” Netflix co-chief executive Ted Sarandos said in a statement. “He brought incredible creative talent to Netflix and made us a premier film studio.”

While Mr. Stuber’s film choices helped significantly boost Netflix’s business, he and Mr. Sarandos often clashed strategically. Mr. Stuber often tried to appease filmmakers by pushing for larger theatrical releases than Mr. Sarandos was willing to take on.

Nevertheless, 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 Mr. Cuarón’s “Roma,” Mr. Stuber’s tenure brought popular hits like “Red Notice,” “Bird Box” and “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.”

He made big bets on filmmakers he wanted to lure to the studio, spending $450 million to secure two “Knives Out” sequels from Rian Johnson and more than $160 million on Zack Snyder’s latest “Rebel Moon” release. Greta Gerwig, director and co-writer of the blockbuster “Barbie,” is also working with Netflix to adapt two films based on the “Chronicles of Narnia” book series.

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

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

“I think one of the legitimate criticisms has been that we’re doing too much and not enough is great,” he said in a 2021 interview, adding: “I think what we want to do is refine and a little less better and for that to make it greater.” .”

In a statement on Monday, Mr. Stuber thanked Mr. Sarandos and Reed Hastings, Netflix’s co-founder and chief executive, for “the great opportunity to join Netflix and create a new home for original films.”

“I am proud of what we have accomplished,” he said, “and am so grateful to all the filmmakers and talent who have trusted us to tell their stories.”

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

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2024-01-22 23:18:06