Antoine Fuqua Signs First-Look Film Deal With Netflix

Antoine Fuqua is doubling down on his partnership with Netflix after bringing his Jake Gyllenhaal-led thriller, "The Guilty," to the streaming service back in October. According to Variety, Fuqua has signed a new first-look deal with Netflix, "focusing on feature and documentary films."

The director of "Training Day," "The Equalizer," and "The Magnificent Seven" is also renaming his production company from Fuqua Films to Hill District Media. Fuqua had not one but two high-profile releases on streaming services this year. "Infinite," starring Mark Wahlberg, was originally slated to go theatrical, but after a series of pandemic delays, it went straight-to-streaming on the Paramount+ platform over the summer.

Paramount+ is also the home of the new Jeremy Renner series, "Mayor of Kingstown," on which Fuqua serves as an executive producer. At Cannes this year, Apple nabbed the rights to Fuqua's runaway-slave Will Smith actioner, "Emancipation," while Amazon picked up his Chris Pratt TV adaptation, "The Terminal List." However, it's Netflix that will now have first dibs on any future films Fuqua is developing. He told Variety:

"Working with Netflix on 'The Guilty' was such a rewarding experience, both from an artistic and collaborative point of view. I'm beyond excited to continue this relationship and expand our slate of films with a partner that shares our vision at Hill District Media."

"They put it up on the big screen as well"

"The Guilty" had a limited theatrical release a week before its Netflix premiere, and in /Film's own Jack Giroux's interview with Fuqua, the director talked about adjusting to the new streaming reality, specifically citing the big-screen component of Netflix's release strategy as a plus. He explained:

"I'm adjusting. I'm adjusting because that's the world we live in. Just like when I started out doing music videos and I started out doing commercials, the pacing changes. You just adjust as an artist. I still love the big screen, no doubt, but I also love the fact that you can go on streaming on Netflix and you can see it around the world immediately. They put it up on the big screen as well. I think we're at a place where we can get our cake and eat it, too. Netflix gives you the freedom to make the movie. They're filmmaker-friendly, that's what they do."

"The Guilty" is a remake of a Danish film, which is currently streaming on Hulu. Fuqua is also getting in the Brad Pitt business as a producer on Pitt and "John Wick" director David Leitch's upcoming action thriller, "Bullet Train," which is set to be an exclusive theatrical release next April. On the documentary side of things, Fuqua is developing an untitled basketball series about the L.A. Lakers.