Netflix hires ex-Universal exec to run movies

Netflix2Netflix has hired former Universal exec Scott Stuber to head up its ongoing drive into original movies.

Stuber, who had been a frontrunner to the role vacated by Brad Grey at Paramount, will oversee a growing slate of films at the US streaming service, which expects to release 30 titles this year.

Stuber was vice chairman of worldwide production at NBCU-owned Universal and co-chief of Universal-backed producer Bluegrass Films. His feature film credits include 8 Mile, Ted and the Bourne franchise.

He had been one of the top candidates for the top job at Viacom’s Paramount Pictures after the announcement of Grey’s exit.

Dylan Clark, Stuber’s partner in Bluegrass, will run that the Bluegrass business alone.

Netflix confirmed the appointment. “Scott is well known and respected in the film industry,” said content chief Ted Sarandos.

“His innovative work and strong talent relationships should help accelerate the Netflix original film initiative as we enter into a new phase of big global productions with some of the greatest directors, actors and writers in the film business.”

Stuber added: “Netflix is at the forefront in changing the way entertainment is enjoyed throughout the world, bringing a greater variety of stories to more people than ever before.

“It’s an incredible opportunity to work with a company with such reach and that stands for such diverse quality content for global audiences.”

Beasts of No NationSVOD service Netflix has been investing in original films since 2014 and has spoken about transforming the ‘antiquated’ movie windowing system. It has accelerated the number of projects on its slate in recent months.

It has a deal with Adam Sandler for comedies and has features including Brad Pitt’s War Machine and Will Smith sci-fi offering Bright in the works.

With selected projects such as Idris Elba movie Beasts of No Nation (pictured), there will be a limited theatrical release, which means the project qualifies for film industry awards.

In related news, Netflix has revealed it will finish the uncompleted Orson Welles film The Other Side of the Wind, the filmmaker’s last project and which has remained unfinished since the 1970s.

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