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Netflix’s New Movie Chief Is Tasked With Making ‘Better Films,’ Not Necessarily ‘Fewer Films’

April 18, 20242 Mins Read

As Netflix’s new film chief, Dan Lin’s mandate is to focus on quality — and quantity.

Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos shed light on Lin’s strategy as the producer takes over film duties from Scott Stuber, who announced in January he was leaving the streamer.

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“There is no appetite to make fewer films, but there is an unlimited appetite to make better films, always,” Sarandos said during the company’s Q1 earnings call. “Even though we have made, and we are making, great films. We want to make them better, of course.”

He was responding to a recent New York Times article, which reported that Lin aims to “improve the quality of the movies and produce a wider spectrum of films — at different budget levels — the better to appeal to the varied interests of Netflix’s 260 million subscribers.”

Though Sarandos mostly echoed those sentiments, he made a point to say the New York Times wasn’t directly quoting Lin, nor did Netflix participate in the article.

Lin began working at Netflix in April and now holds one of the most influential jobs in the movie business. In his first month, he laid off around 15 people and reorganized the film department by genre rather than budget level. That structure was set up by Stuber, whose early days at Netflix were defined by a desire to dramatically increase the company’s original film output with expensive tentpoles like “Bright,” “The Gray Man” and “Red Notice.” Near the end of his tenure, though, Stuber pivoted the streamer away from being a strictly volume business and expressed a desire to make those films watchable, as well.

Before he took over as film chief, Lin worked with the streamer on “The Two Popes” and the live-action “Avatar: The Last Airbender” series. But he’s best known for producing the “Lego” film franchise, director Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel “It,” and Disney’s “Aladdin” remake through his production company Rideback.

“We’re super excited to have Dan join the company. He [is already] running at 100 miles an hour,” Sarandos said. “We take a very audience-centric view of what quality is. [Dan] understands Netflix and the audience really, really well.”

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