As Netflix looks to increase its awards chances, the streaming giant and industry disrupter has butted heads with Hollywood traditionalists and film festivals. But it has also reeled in some of the biggest filmmakers working today, many of whom have won film’s top prize: an Oscar.
Netflix’s only Oscar win so far came this year for Best Documentary for “Icarus,” but its chances are higher than ever entering the 2018-19 awards season. Acclaimed filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón, who won a directing Oscar in 2014 for “Gravity” and is also known for “Children of Men,” directed what is expected to be one of Netflix’s biggest theatrical releases ever: “Roma.”
But not every establishment figure has embraced the streamer. Netflix premiered six movies at this year’s Venice Film Festival after pulling out of Cannes because of a new rule that disqualified any film without a theatrical distribution in France. It has also faced the ire of respected filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, who said the streamer only belongs at the Emmys.
Still, Netflix hasn’t let the controversy get in its way. It has worked with “The Social Network” and “Gone Girl” director David Fincher on its original series “House of Cards” and “Mindhunter.” Paul Greengrass, director of “Jason Bourne” and “United 93,” directed the real-life drama “22 July,” which is on Netflix now. And Netflix acquired Andy Serkis’ “Jungle Book” reimagining, “Mowgli,” in July.
Big filmmakers aren’t afraid to do business with Netflix — and those aren’t even the Oscar winners.
Below are 7 Oscar-winning directors who are bringing their talents to Netflix:
Oscar win: Best Director — 2017 (“La La Land”)
Netflix project: Chazelle will executive produce and direct two episodes of a Netflix musical drama series called “The Eddy,” which will be his first TV project.
Description: “A jazz club in the heart of multicultural Paris faces danger in this musical drama series from ‘La La Land’ director Damien Chazelle.”
Joel and Ethan Coen
Oscar wins: Best Picture, Director, and Adapted Screenplay — 2008 (“No Country for Old Men”); Best Original Screenplay — 1997 (“Fargo”)
Netflix project: The Coens debuted “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” at this year’s Venice Film Festival. Originally a Netflix series, it became an anthology film with six stories. It comes to Netflix November 16.
Description: “Saddle up for six tales about the American frontier from the unique minds of Joel and Ethan Coen, who wrote and directed this anthology.”
Oscar wins: Best Director and Film Editing — 2014 (“Gravity”)
Netflix project: Netflix’s best chance at entering the Oscar race, “Roma,” will arrive on the streaming service and on over 100 screens worldwide later this year. It’s one of Netflix’s biggest pushes yet for theatrical distribution as it tries to raise its Oscar chances.
Description: “A story that chronicles a tumultuous year in the life of a middle-class family in Mexico City in the early 1970s.”
Guillermo del Toro
Getty Images / Stefania D’Alessandro
Oscar wins: Best Picture and Director — 2018 (“The Shape of Water”)
Netflix project: Del Toro will write, direct, and produce a stop-motion musical version of the classic “Pinocchio” for Netflix, Variety reported this week.
Morgan NevilleCraig Barritt/Getty Images
Oscar win: Best Documentary — 2014 (“20 Feet From Stardom”)
Netflix project: Netflix will release Neville’s next documentary, “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead,” on November 2 along with its subject matter, “The Other Side of the Wind,” which is Orson Welles’ final film. Neville also directed the hit Fred Rogers documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” this year.
Description: “Actors, crew members and others who were there discuss the tumultuous creation of Orson Welles’s final, unfinished film, ‘The Other Side of the Wind.”
Getty Images Entertainment/ Stephen Lovekin
Oscar win: Best Director — 2007 (“The Departed”)
Netflix project: Scorsese is directing one of Netflix’s most ambitious movies yet, mob drama “The Irishman,” which is set to debut in 2019. With a cost of $140 million, according to Deadline, it’s the director’s most expensive movie. The production costs have increased due to a star-studded cast of Scorsese favorites like Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, and special effects to de-age De Niro in his role as the title character. The movie also stars Al Pacino, Bobby Cannavale, and Harvey Keitel.
Francois Durand/Getty Images
Oscar win: Best Director — 2001 (“Traffic”)
Netflix project: Netflix bought the global rights to Soderbergh’s sports drama, “High Flying Bird,” Deadline reported last month. The movie stars André Holland (“Castle Rock”), Zazie Beetz (“Deadpool 2”), and Zachary Quinto (“Star Trek”). According to Deadline, the movie is about a sports agent who pitches a rookie basketball player on an intriguing business idea.