Netflix has taken another step forward with its ambition to sign exclusive deals with some of Britain’s top TV and film creatives after inking a golden handcuffs agreement with The Crown producer Suzanne Mackie’s new production company.
Netflix and Mackie were not forthcoming about the nature of the deal in an announcement unveiling Orchid Pictures today, but Deadline understands that the production venture will develop and produce film and TV projects exclusively for the streamer.
One source suggested that Netflix had invested in Orchid, but this was denied by the company. Instead, the arrangement is said to be closer to an overall deal with Orchid. The streamer insists there is nothing unusual about the arrangement.
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There were clues about the deal in the press release announcing Orchid. Though not circulated by Netflix, Mackie said in the release that she was looking forward to “further deepening my collaboration with Netflix,” while Left Bank Pictures CEO Andy Harries added that she will “create some classy new shows for Netflix.”
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It is the second time Netflix has quietly partnered with a UK production outfit. Deadline revealed back in July that Netflix had invested in Black Mirror creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones’ new production outfit Broke And Bones in a first-of-its-kind deal for the streamer in the UK. Again, this was not formally announced by Netflix.
Sources have told Deadline that Netflix is being stealthy about its agreements with British creators as the streamer is wary of fueling industry concerns that it is hoovering up talent to the detriment of local broadcasters and producers. There are also more macro concerns that it chips away at a successful ecosystem in the UK, where producers own the rights to the content they make.
Mackie is leaving Left Bank Pictures after nearly 12 years to launch Orchid, but will continue to executive produce the final two seasons of The Crown. Mackie was the creative director of Left Bank, working at the heart of its development slate. As well as The Crown, her credits include BAFTA-nominated Mad Dogs and Keira Knightley feature Misbehaviour. Prior to her time at Left Bank, she was a development executive at Harbour Pictures.
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