Netflix Film Chief Wants People To Call It 'The Best Film Studio In The World'

Depending on who you ask, Netflix is either an integral part of the new filmmaking landscape or a debt-accruing parasite that is making the industry worse with its single-minded focus on creating "content" at all costs. 

There's something to be said for the major streaming service providing affordable access to media at a time when not everyone has the luxury or privilege to watch movies in theaters. Of course, it's also fair to hold certain business practices against it, such as Netflix's nasty habit of acquiring highly-anticipated festival circuit titles ... only to turn around and bury them with little fanfare or marketing whatsoever.

It's a complicated discussion that much smarter people than myself are better equipped to tackle, but that's important context to keep in mind when you see a quote from Netflix's head of original films professing that the streamer aims to become, well, nothing less than "the best film studio in the world."

Started From the Bottom

Whether it's sports, business, or just everyday life, confidence — or at least the appearance of it — can get you farther than you might think. Netflix film chief Scott Stuber isn't one to publicly shy away from a lofty goal, such as when he (unsuccessfully) expressed his interest in wooing Christopher Nolan to the service. Speaking to The Wrap, Stuber looked back at how far the streaming service has come and threw down the gauntlet with regards to his plans for the future of Netflix:

"I came here with the recognition that I was starting at the bottom, that we are in last place, meaning that in the film industry, we were going to have to build a film studio and prove ourselves — I wasn't inheriting a legacy studio, I wasn't taking over Paramount or Warner Bros.

"We have no library, we have no IP, what are we going to do to define ourselves? This has always been a long term plan for me. How do we get to the place where everyone at some point in the next five years goes, 'That's the best film studio in the world?' And that's something we're trying to do."

In the time since first appearing on the scene as an upstart streamer, it's worth noting that Netflix has recruited upper echelon talent among the likes of Alfonso Cuarón, Martin Scorsese, Ava DuVernay, Spike Lee, Dee Rees, and many more. Much of the mid-budget films that used to crowd multiplexes (and have since been crowded out by blockbusters) seem to have migrated to streaming services like Netflix, although we previously brought you the news that not even Netflix could resist the temptation of pivoting to big-budget features as well.

"Best film studio in the world"? I have my doubts that we'll ever get to that point where that becomes the consensus opinion, but you have to admire the bright-eyed optimism!