War for the Planet of the Apes and future The Batman director Matt Reeves has signed a high-profile first look deal with the streaming company Netflix.
Netflix has come under scrutiny of late, after taking on a massive $20 billion debt with the intent to increase their original content library substantially over the next few years. Since then, sexual assault allegations against creatives involved with the company – like former House of Cards star Kevin Spacey and Bright screenwriter Max Landis – coupled with the poor critical reception for Bright (a film that nevertheless drew millions of views in its first three days), ended 2017 on a low note for the company. At the same time, Netflix continues to draw praise from top-tier talent for the creative freedom that it allows them, and Reeves is the latest such filmmaker to make a deal with the streaming giant.
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As reported by Deadline, Reeves has agreed to give Netflix first-look at any films his company, 6th & Idaho, decides to direct or produce. This deal comes at a loss for Fox, who had first-look rights to 6th & Idaho’s content prior to Netflix. Reeves is slated to helm the upcoming solo Batman project and has more than paid his dues with both major blockbuster franchise films (Dawn for the Planet of the Apes, War for the Planet of the Apes) and cult favorite indie gems (Cloverfield), respectively.
Despite the promise of this major deal, all eyes will likely be on Reeves’ upcoming Batman film, as speculation continues to swirl over whether or not Ben Affleck’s Batman will appear in the film. Affleck was initially supposed to write and direct a solo Batman film of his own, but ultimately decided to step out of the behind-the-scenes roles. He has expressed interest in both continuing and quitting his role of Batman, adding to the confusion and speculation. Recent reports have indicated that Reeves will replace Affleck with a new Batman actor in the film.
Netflix has faith that Reeves will eventually become a valuable resource to their original content, providing the company with a large selection of films to choose from. Head of the film initiative Scott Stuber, in an official statement, praised Reeves as a “fantastic storyteller” whose track record “speaks for itself.” Reeves returned the compliment saying that Netflix is at the “forefront of a new age” in filmmaking and expressed his excitement in working with Netflix and Scott, specifically.
Reeves’ statement went on to address the sorts of films he is most interested in pursuing. According to Reeves, 6th & Idaho will be on the lookout for “thrilling, character-centered” genres, right in line with Netflix’s most popular franchises (a la Stranger Things and the Marvel series).
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