An interview quote which ignited a massive debate across an entire industry has led to two of the biggest titans in entertainment coming together for a meeting – filmmaker Steven Spielberg and Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos.
THR reports that the pair, who have been on opposite sides of a debate over what can be considered an Oscar-qualifying movie and whether movies that appear on streaming services should be considered, reportedly sat down with each other this week.
The pair were seen dining together at San Vincente Bungalows, a private club in West Hollywood, with indications being the two industry heavyweights might be looking to reach common ground.
Spielberg has been a leading voice in arguing both for the motion picture theatrical experience and that Oscars should be reserved for films that get their first major exposure in movie theaters for a sustained period of time. He’s also said that films that launch on streaming platforms are essentially telemovies and thus should be up for Emmys.
Netflix, under Sarandos, has been aggressively courting Oscars over the past few years and won three this year for Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” which scored a three-week run in cinemas before hitting the service. The company has shown it is willing to alter its business model in select cases in order to pursue Oscar glory.
The initial report that kicked everything off though suggested the filmmaker was planning to ask the Academy’s board of governors at its April meeting to vote for a new rule that would require an Oscar-qualifying movie play a four-week exclusive engagement in theaters. It wasn’t until last week that Spielberg’s friend Jeffrey Katzenberg denied the report.
Reps for both Spielberg and Sarandos declined commenting to the trade.