Recently came word that Netflix’s current film boss Scott Stuber has shifted the strategy of the company’s film division – refocusing efforts to include massive Marvel-like blockbusters, small-medium films that are major awards contenders, and creating the kind of small-medium popular films studios don’t regularly make anymore – like romantic comedies.
We see the first fruits of that labour this Fall with an impressive line-up of prestige films from the likes of Paul Greengrass, Jeremy Saulnier, and Joel and Ethan Coen. They’re also planning small theatrical runs day and date with the streaming release so as they can qualify for awards consideration and give those who want to see them on the big screen a chance to do so.
However, it’s “Gravity” and “Children of Men” director Alfonso Cuaron’s deeply personal and semi-autobiographical “Roma” that’s looking to be the streaming giant’s most likely candidate to nab awards early next year. As a result, THR reports that the company is considering something they’ve never done before – they’re trying to figure out whether or not to release “Roma” in cinemas BEFORE it hits the streaming service.
Cuaron himself is reportedly pushing for this as Netflix is in the midst of making deals with Landmark Cinemas and Alamo Drafthouses to screen the film around the country. If they acquiesce, this would be the most significant concession to a major filmmaker Netflix has ever done and if they do it then others will likely follow suit and demand the same in future negotiations.
No word as yet if they’ll do it, or if they do how long the window between the theatrical and streaming run will be, but interestingly Greengrass is also reportedly haggling over his film’s release – not over day-and-date issues but rather how large the theatrical run will be.