Ted Sarandos Says ‘Leo’ Sequel Being Considered In Wake of First Film’s Success

The Netflix co-CEO says they’re “kicking” the idea around

"Leo"
"Leo" (Netflix)

Ted Sarandos, co-chief executive officer of Netflix, briefly discussed Netflix’s animation output during today’s earnings call. A question came through about the success of “Leo,” and Sarandos admitted, among other things, that the company was already discussing a potential sequel. “We’re kicking around ‘Leo 2’ right now,” Sarandos said. “The animation team is firing on all cylinders.”

“Leo” opened against Disney’s “Wish” over the Thanksgiving break and wound up being the most-watched Netflix original animated feature ever. It stars Adam Sandler as a class pet who, in a bid to escape his terrarium, ends up counseling the kids on their various issues. The movie was appealing, with bright animation and a winning performance from Sandler. (Sandler has had a long-running and lucrative ongoing deal with Netflix, but this is his first animated feature with the streaming giant.)

“Look, I think ‘Leo’ resonated for the same reason ‘The Sea Beast’ did last year. People love it. And they do watch it over and over again, which drives engagement and attachment,” Sarandos said. “’Leo’ and ‘The Sea Beast’ are proof points that we can create original IP in the animated space. I’m super thrilled with ‘Leo.’”

When TheWrap talked to “Leo” filmmakers Robert Marianetti and David Wachtenheim (who directed alongside Robert Smigel), they said part of the appeal of creating an original property was the opportunity to possibly do sequels. All three filmmakers have said they have some ideas should there be another installment.

“Nimona,” another Netflix animated original feature, was nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar earlier today and there is a robust 2024 line-up of animated features, which includes “That Christmas” (based on a script by Richard Curtis), “Ultraman: Rising,” Roald Dahl adaptation “The Twits,” and “Spellbound,” which Sarandos mentioned today as being a big priority, their first feature from a new agreement with Skydance Animation.

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