The film pact with Netflix comes two and a half years before Berlanti’s mega overall deal with Warner Bros. Television — valued at as much as $400 million — is slated to end. It signals that the most prolific producer in the history of television, who had renewed his TV studio deal with the previous Warner Media/Warner Bros TV regime, could be in play.
Berlanti, who broke his own record for most series on television at the same time multiple times, currently has 14 on-air series produced by his Berlanti Productions. That includes the popular Netflix drama You — picked up for a second and third season — and several CW shows that are popular draws on Netflix including Riverdale, All American and The Flash. His company also produced the streamer’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
With Berlanti Productions’ longtime executive Schechter — the feature vet was promoted to chairperson and partner last year — the company has been plotting a major ramp-up in film. When WarnerMedia officially unveiled HBO Max two years ago, the company announced four movies for the new streaming service from Berlanti, in addition to multiple series his company has been working on.
Berlanti started as a writer and executive producer on Dawson’s Creek and made his feature directorial debut with The Broken Hearts Club and followed with 2018’s Love, Simon. The company recently wrapped production on the Michael Grandage-directed My Policeman for Amazon, with Harry Styles and Emma Corrin starring in an adaptation of the Bethan Roberts novel. They are also in post-production on Shawn Levy’s Free Guy starring Ryan Reynolds and Jodie Comer, which is set to release in August, and in pre-production on Jennifer Kent’s Alice & Freda Forever. They produced Rachel Lee Goldenberg’s Unpregnant, the first of those four YA films they are making for HBO Max, and have projects set up at Fox, New Line, Warner Bros, Focus, Amazon, Netflix, Skydance and Village Roadshow including an untitled Rock Hudson biopic; Red, White and Royal Blue; Be More Chill; The Sting; The Editor; and We Were There, Too.
“We love telling stories and over the last few years we have had an incredible time telling them with Ted, Bela and everyone at Netflix on the TV side and we couldn’t be more excited to be getting a chance to begin our relationship with Scott and his team on the film side,” said Berlanti & Schechter. “We have been so impressed by the home for filmmakers Scott and everyone there has built (this is a literal coming home for Sarah since she and the amazing Kira Goldberg were once roommates). We cannot wait to roll up our sleeves and get to work making a broad range of emotional, entertaining and impactful stories for the massive global audience that Netflix has.”
Netflix Head of Global Films Scott Stuber added: “Greg and Sarah are passionate about storytelling and have a great eye for talent. As seen by their prolific work on series, they champion a wide range of projects and we can’t wait to work on films at all levels with them.”