September 3, 2020
Netflix’s ongoing quest for original programming now includes British royalty.
Six months after their voluntary departure from royal duties at the House of Windsor in pursuit of financial independence, Prince Harry and wife Meghan have inked a multiyear production deal with Netflix.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be paid an undisclosed amount in the production of documentaries, feature films and docu-series and scripted TV shows. Meghan Markle last worked in Hollywood in 2018 on the series “Suits,” which is not available on Netflix.
“We are incredibly proud they have chosen Netflix as their creative home and are excited about telling stories with them that can help build resilience and increase understanding for audiences everywhere,” Ted Sarandos, co-CEO and chief content officer, said in a statement.
Netflix has an existing production deal with former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, which in March produced documentary “Crip Camp” about the origins of the disability rights movement. The film is considered a 2021 Oscar favorite for best nonfiction film. A recent Netflix film about the Paralympic Games — Rising Phoenix — features Harry, who helped create the Invictus Games for wounded veterans.
Netflix’s landing of Meghan and Harry followed reported meetings with Apple, Disney and NBCUniversal, among others. Media reports suggest the power couple, who have relocated to California, was looking for a deal around $100 million.
“The value of this signing to Netflix is unquantifiable,” Jonathan Shalit, chairman of InterTalent Rights Group in London, told The New York Times. “Never before has a real-life royal of this magnitude gone commercial and to Hollywood.”