Steven Soderbergh signs overall deal with HBO
James R | On 17, Jan 2020
Steven Soderbergh has signed an overall deal with HBO, as the cabler prepares to launch its new streaming service HBO Max.
Soderbergh is no stranger to HBO, or owners WanerMedia, working with them on the Michael Douglas movie Behind the Candelabra, Cinemax medical drama The Knick and Sharon Stone-starring interactive thriller Mosaic. Now, as streaming platforms increasingly snap up talent such as Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes, Soderbergh has entered into an exclusive deal with HBO.
The director will develop content for both HBO and HBO Max, with an exclusive TV deal and a first-look arrangement for feature projects. The agreement spans for three years and builds on Soderbergh’s previously announced film with HBO Max, Let Them All Talk. Starring Meryl Streep,Dianne Wiest, Lucas Hedges and Gemma Chan, the movie tells the story of a famous author (Streep) who takes a journey with old friends. That will launch on HBO Max in 2020 in the USA, although with HBO recently renewing and extending its partnership with Sky in the UK, HBO Max is unlikely to launch in the UK, with content instead available through Sky or other providers.
“This arrangement grew out of talks Michael Sugar and I were having with Sarah Aubrey during the negotiations for Let Them All Talk, and there were four things tractor-beaming me toward this deal: One, I have a history with both HBO and Warner Bros.; two, my definition of a good product, a good process, and a good working culture is shared by the WarnerMedia family; three, the wide range of potential outlets aligns with my range of interests, and four: I get to witness and participate in the building of something new at a very large scale. Oh, and there is a financial aspect, so that’s probably five,” said Soderbergh in a statement.
“Steven is a groundbreaking filmmaker who not only tells unique, irresistible stories, but is also a master of so many genres,” added Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “In many ways, he is the anti-algorithm constantly surprising, never predictable and his career is living proof that one gifted filmmaker can impact our culture again and again. I can’t wait for the projects that we’re working on together to premiere on HBO Max.”
Soderbergh is certainly no stranger to streaming either, having recently directed The Laundromat and High Flying Bird, both for Netflix.
“From Behind the Candelabra, to The Knick and Mosaic, we know first-hand that Steven Soderbergh’s creative genius knows no bounds,” commented Casey Bloys, President, HBO Programming. “An indefatigable innovator, we couldn’t be more excited to continue our relationship with Steven and provide a home for his future projects.”