By Sahil Patel
Netflix and Leonardo DiCaprio are not willing to let go of each other just yet.
The streaming company has signed a multi-year first-look deal with the actor and his production company, Appian Way, to develop multiple non-fiction projects. Under the terms of the deal, Netflix and DiCaprio will work together to identify and develop fact-based projects, with a particular focus on environmental and conservation themes. These will include original documentary films and series as well as acquiring existing projects.
DiCaprio will serve as producer or executive producer on all projects, which will be streamed exclusively by Netflix.
The deal follows Netflix and DiCaprio’s partnership on the Oscar-nominated documentary film “Virunga.” Earlier this year the actor signed on as an executive producer for the film, which centered on park rangers in Virunga National Park and their efforts to protect the park against meddlesome forces.
“Working with Netflix on ‘Virunga’ has sparked a shared vision about projects that we want to develop and bring to viewers,” said DiCaprio in a statement. “There’s never been a more critical time for our planet or more of a need for gifted storytellers to help us all make sense of the issues we face. Through this partnership with Netflix, I hope to give documentary filmmakers doing urgent and important work the chance to have their films seen immediately by audiences all around the world.”
Netflix, of course, has been aggressive about acquiring and producing more feature-length films and TV series for its service. Documentary projects such as “Virunga” typically play well at festivals and get a limited theatrical run, but have had a harder time finding additional global distribution. SVOD services like Netflix, with their growing global reach, offer access to audiences that other platforms can’t.