Spike Lee Just Signed A Multi-Year Creative Partnership With Netflix

Add Spike Lee to the growing list of artists who've signed lucrative deals with Netflix. The acclaimed filmmaker has already directed the Oscar-nominated movie "Da 5 Bloods" for the streaming giant, on top of turning his 1986 dramedy film "She's Gotta Have It" into a series that ran for two seasons on the platform. Lee and his 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks production company are now poised to develop even more projects for the streamer, thanks to their newly formed multi-year agreement.

According to Variety, said partnership will formally begin in January 2022, with Lee set to produce director Stefon Bristol's adventure film "Gordon Hemingway & the Realm of Cthulhu" for Netflix. Lee also produced Bristol's 2019 directorial debut on the streamer's well-received time travel movie "See You Yesterday" and directed writer/star Roger Guenveur Smith in his one-man show "Rodney King," which similarly released on Netflix in 2017.

As part of the announcement, Lee issued the following statement:

"There is no better way for me and my company 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks to begin the new year than renew our partnership with [Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos], [Netflix Head of Original Films Scott Stuber] And [Netflix VP Tendo Nagenda] — da fearless leaders of Netflix. Besides my joints, we together will focus on the new diverse storytellers, youth must be served."

What's Next For Spike Lee

Lee is one of a number of seasoned auteurs who've turned to streaming to get their projects funded of late, what with the major studios increasingly prioritizing IP-driven films when it comes to their theatrical releases (a trend which Covid has only expedited). This has allowed him to stay as productive as he's ever been in recent years, with Lee helming the celebrated concert movie "David Byrne's American Utopia" and the controversial documentary series "NYC Epicenters 9/11-2021½" (both of which found a home on HBO and HBO Max), along with his Netflix ventures.

Up next, Lee will follow Steven Spielberg (who also signed a deal with Netflix this year) in directing his first full-blown silver screen musical: an as-yet untitled movie about, of all things, the invention of Viagra. Also still on the agenda for Lee is "Prince of Cats," a 1980s hip-hop-flavored twist on "Romeo and Juliet" that's based on the 2012 graphic novel written and illustrated by Ronald Wimberly. Let it never be said that Lee is one to shy away from a challenge.