Netflix Acquires VFX Studio Scanline Behind ‘Cowboy Bebop,’ ‘Stranger Things 3’

Visual effects company founded in 1989 is led by Stephan Trojansky

Cowboy Bebop
(Kirsty Griffin/Netflix)

Netflix is acquiring the visual effects studio Scanline VFX, which has been behind special effects work for Netflix’s recent series “Cowboy Bebop” as well as scenes from the third season of “Stranger Things.”

The news was announced on Monday by Amy Reinhard, Netflix’s VP of Studio Operations. The plan is to invest in Scanline’s pipeline, infrastructure and workforce to advance the streamer’s virtual production.

While Netflix will acquire the company, Scanline will remain a standalone business and will work with other clients beyond Netflix. The company recently did work on “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “Game of Thrones,” “Godzilla Vs. Kong” and “Zack Snyder’s Justice League.”

Netflix will also still rely on other VFX companies and studios to fulfill its visual effects needs. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and the deal expects to close in Q1 2022.

Scanline was founded in 1989 and is led by Stephan Trojansky, a VFX supervisor who is known for his proprietary fluid rendering system, Flowline, and won a Scientific and Technical Oscar for it in 2008. The company has offices in Vancouver, Montreal, Los Angeles, London, Munich, Stuttgart and Seoul.

Most recently, Scanline was behind the interstellar landscape seen in “Cowboy Bebop,” the vampires in “Blood Red Sky” and the exploding underground reactor seen at the conclusion of “Stranger Things 3.” The company is also working with Netflix on other upcoming titles such as “Don’t Look Up,” “The Gray Man,” “Slumberland,” “The Ada Project” and “Stranger Things 4.”

The acquisition of Scanline comes after Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital VFX tech division was sold to Unity for a $1.625 billion price tag.