Netflix Hoping to Develop Their Own Sprawling Franchise Like Star Wars or Harry Potter

In less than a decade, Netflix has gone from a niche subscription service to an almost-ubiquitous part of the media landscape. The streaming platform has grown in popularity, thanks to its catalogue of existing and original content. Even with the number of Netflix original movies and TV shows growing on a weekly basis, it seems like the streamer still has some lofty aspirations. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix VP of Original Films Tendo Nagenda spoke about the company's future, and what dream projects he would like to take on as part of the streamer. As he revealed, there's a hope to focus on some sort of "PG-level adventure film" which would resonate with audiences on a broad scale, akin to Star Wars or Harry Potter.

"We're looking at big, broad-audience, PG-level adventure films as something that we want to get into," Nagenda revealed. "Something along the lines of the first Star Wars, or Harry Potter 1 and 2. A lot of family live-action, fantasy, spectacle movies that we think are big and can play great. A Jumanji-type of story. That is the next frontier."

"We look at it as what aren’t the studios focused on. New ideas," Nagenda continued. "We want to encourage great talent to think that way. George Lucas created Star Wars — it wasn’t based on a book. If you have that kind of imagination — like the Wachowskis with The Matrix — we feel like we’re the place to take the chance on those types of innovative ideas and filmmakers."

While the idea of Netflix seeking out a family-friendly film franchise feels like a bit of a given, there is the question of exactly what that could end up being. The closest a Netflix title has become to being a definitive pop culture icon is Stranger Things, but that is on the television side of things (and, thanks to its horror elements, doesn't always classify as "family-friendly").

With an ever-growing number of high-profile Netflix films - including The Old Guard, the recent Charlize Theron-led action blockbuster - Netflix has become a bit of a formidable force in the film landscape (especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has ruled out a lot of theatrical releases. According to Nagenda, the sky is the limit with regards to getting those films off the ground.

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"We don’t have a set number [for a budget]," Nagenda explained. "There are a lot of inputs and factors that go into it. How big do we think the audience is based on films that have performed on Netflix, or other places successfully? How much library value, how much of a pioneering piece of content it is from a filmmaker or talent or storytelling standpoint?"

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