“Our intent is that the show keep going for sure,” said Netflix‘s Ted Sarandos today. “It was a 26-episode commitment. It was not our intent that it just run for two seasons,” he added of House of Cards’ run on the streaming service. Netflix’s Chief Content Officer was delivering the keynote Saturday at Film Independent‘s 9th annual confab at DGA HQ. “Talks are in progress right now,” he told me afterwards on a further deal to lock in more seasons of the Emmy-winning political drama, “so stay tuned.” Former House of Cards EP Rick Cleveland said last month that the series would wrap up after its second season. The lack of any new deal announcement despite the breakout HoC proved to be for Netflix fueled speculation about its demise after the current two season deal was up. The second season of the Kevin Spacey starring series, which is presently in its last week of production, is expected to debut on Netflix early next year. The Film Independent Forum continues Sunday.
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In his remarks today, Sarandos also hinted about Netflix releasing “big movies ourselves” and slammed theater owners for holding back innovation in the business. “The model that we’re doing for TV should work for movies. Why not premiere movies the same day on Netflix that they are opening in theaters?” he said noting the draw that House of Cards had with all 13-episodes being available simultaneously to watch. “Think about this last summer, more movies with a production budget of over $75 million were released than ever before in the history of movies .The result of that was a 6% lift in attendance. So the studios have never done less with more,” Sarandos said. “But I don’t fault them, the studios are always trying to innovate,” he told the 80% full Guild auditorium. “Theater owners stifle this kind of innovation at every turn,” the Netflix exec added. “The reason why we may enter the space and release some big movies ourselves this way is because I’m concerned that as theater owners try to strangle innovation and distribution not only are they going to kill theaters, they might kill movies.”
Earlier this week, during Netflix’s quarterly conference call, Sarandos made other remarks about the company getting into movies when he also said that they were looking to start backing documentaries to stream to their nearly 40 million subscribers. The CCO also added at the time that he would “keep my mind wide open” for other genres. However, today Sarandos gave no indication of what that might be or when it could happen. He did add though his belief that “every new technology that was going to kill the move business has grown the movie business.” The Film Independent Forum continues Sunday.
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