Netflix and Duplass Brothers sign new four-film deal
James R | On 22, Feb 2018
Netflix and the Duplass Brothers are doubling down on their relationship with a new four-picture deal.
Jay and Mark Duplass, veterans of the US indie scene, have always had a close tie with the streaming giant, with their first feature, The Puffy Chair, actually being Netflix’s Red Envelope Entertainment’s first feature film, after it stepped up to co-distribute the mumblecore classic. In 2015, they strengthened that link with a deal for a range of titles, giving Netflix the subscription streaming rights to Blue Jay, Take Me, Creep 2, Duck Butter and Outside In (the latter two are yet to be released). While this deal gave Netflix the rights following a cinema release in the US, the duo have now signed a new deal that will give Netflix full worldwide rights to their next four films.
The first will be an untitled project, with Ray Romano attached, that will be released later this year. It’s described by Variety, who broke the news as a “bittersweet bromance” that centres on themes of friendship, mortality and “made-up sports”. The film is the second directorial effort from Alex Lehman, who helmed the aforementioned Blue Jay.
“Jay and Mark are the most enterprising filmmakers in the business,” Ian Bricke, director of independent films at Netflix, said in a statement. “They have embraced Netflix as much as our subscribers have embraced their films. Having worked with Mark and Jay for over a decade, we have huge admiration for their creative passion and filmmaking smarts. We are thrilled for this next chapter of our relationship.”
“Turns out when you make films for Netflix, millions of people all over the world watch them,” added the Duplass Brothers. “This is not a terrible thing for an independent filmmaker.”
Duplass brothers ink four-film deal with Netflix
24th January 2015
The Duplass brothers have signed a four-film deal with Netflix.
The indie filmmaking duo, whose mumblecore offerings caught the world’s attention with The Puffy Chair in 2005 when it screened at Sundance and SXSW. Netflix picked up the film shortly afterwards, while Jay and Mark Duplass went on to make Cyrus and the HBO series Togetherness (pictured), which premiered this month and on Sky in the UK.
It is only fitting, then, that Netflix should reveal its new agreement at this year’s Sundance festival. The deal, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter, will see the brothers create four original, small-budget movies for the streaming service. The projects have no release dates, or even a deadline, so that it does not interfere with the Duplass’ new TV show.
The pair are no strangers to Netflix UK users, with Safety Not Guaranteed and The League (starring Mark Duplass) both available to stream, along with the co-directed Jeff, Who Lives at Home.
“Our relationship with Mark and Jay Duplass began nearly 10 years ago with our acquisition of The Puffy Chair and continues with this four-picture deal,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos.
“Independent films are an important part of our DNA, and we plan to make these films more globally accessible than ever.”
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) January 24, 2015
— Netflix US (@netflix) January 24, 2015
The announcement follows a wave of high profile deals to produce original feature films for the streaming service. Last year, Adam Sandler agreed to make four new films for the company, while this August will see the release of a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which will premiere in IMAX cinemas on the same as its global VOD release.
Unlike both of these deals, though, the Duplass films will be released in cinemas first, before arriving on the subscription site shortly afterwards – an arrangement that parallels the strategy taken by rival service Amazon, which recently announced its own intention to produce “close to 12” original movies a year.