Netflix has signed a huge overall TV and film deal with The Crown creator Peter Morgan, in another sign that the streamers are prepared to spend tens of millions of dollars tying-up prominent British writing talent. We hear the pact is for at least four years.
Three sources told Deadline that Netflix’s deal with Golden Globe and BAFTA-winner Morgan was done as the company readies itself for the November 17 release of The Crown season three, in which Olivia Colman will replace Claire Foy on the throne.
Morgan is well down the track with season four of Left Bank Pictures’ lavish drama and sources said his exclusive Netflix deal will encompass another two seasons. This would take it to six seasons, which has long been Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos’ plan for the show.
The overall deal will also include projects by Morgan outside of The Crown, including feature films. It is said to be valued well into the eight figures, with some sources speculating that it could potentially cross the $100M mark. “The figure is beyond insane,” said someone with knowledge of the pact.
Morgan’s Netflix deal follows another A-list British creator, Fleabag‘s Phoebe Waller-Bridge, signing a big three-year overall deal with Amazon last month worth in the mid-eight-figure range.
Talks with Morgan have been ongoing for months, according to two sources, and Sarandos and Netflix’s VP of content Cindy Holland have been directly involved in the negotiations. Netflix is also said to be in talks with other UK writers about overall deals, including Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker, as the scramble for talent reaches fever pitch after Brits bagged around half the Emmys last month.
The aggressive tactics of the streamers has sparked some jitters at the major UK broadcasters, who are worried that they are growing some of the best creative voices on the planet, only for them to fly the nest to America. One source said the BBC is hoping to get on the front foot next week, when it stages an event at which director general Tony Hall and director of content Charlotte Moore set out the broadcaster’s vision.
The deal with Morgan is the latest in Netflix’s efforts to lock in the creators of its most successful series. The streamer just signed a mega overall pact with the creators of Stranger Things the Duffer brothers.
Morgan, working alongside long-time collaborator and Left Bank CEO Andy Harries, has turned The Crown into a global smash hit for Netflix since its launch in 2016. Outside of The Crown, he has written feature films including The Queen, Frost/Nixon, The Last King of Scotland and The Damned United.
The overall deal was brokered by Morgan’s UK-based lawyers Lee & Thompson.