Spielberg to pen horror series for Quibi

Short-form streaming service Quibi has signed up Steven Spielberg to write a horror series, according to founder and chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg.

News of Spielberg’s involvement in the platform came over a weekend in which Quibi also revealed its launch details.

The service will launch on April 6th in North America, ahead of a global roll out, with two tiers of pricing: $4.99 with short ads, and $7.99 without them. It is designed primarily for mobile users.

Spielberg will create a horror show called Spielberg After Dark, which will only play when the user’s phone knows it is dark outside.

Katzenberg and Quibi CEO Meg Whitman said the service’s content will consist of two to two-and-a-half hour stories presented in 15 chapters of 7-10 minutes each and budgeted at around $6m an hour.

A new chapter will be released each weekday, aimed at a core audience of 25-35-year-olds.

“We look at this not as short form, but long form in chapters,” Katzenberg said.

Katzenberg cited upcoming Quibi drama series #Freerayshawn, from Sony TV, starring Stephan James and Laurence Fishburne and which Antoine Fuqua is currently shooting in New Orleans. The project will be two-and-a-half hours long and broken into 15 chapters ranging from seven to 10 minutes.

Steven Soderbergh and partner Michael Sugar are also producing a project for the service.

The startup will spend around $1 billion on content in its first year, and another $470 million in marketing and promotion.

Quibi’s backers including Disney, NBCUniversal, WarnerMedia, Lionsgate, the UK’s ITV and China’s Alibaba.

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