The streaming giant has struck major deals that cover both its film and television division.
In an era where online streaming services are more tenacious and aggressive than ever, Amazon is really holding its own this Monday. Acquiring not one but two deals covering different sectors in the entertainment industry is no small feat. It’s been reported that Casey Affleck‘s production company, Sea Change Media, has signed a first look deal with Amazon, covering both film and television projects. Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino of Gilmore Girls fame have also signed an overall deal with the studio.
Both Affleck and the Palladinos have had working relationships with Amazon in the past. Affleck’s most recent claim to fame was Manchester by the Sea, which — together with landing him a Best Actor Oscar — was a huge distribution coup for the company. The Palladinos are currently working on the Prime Video original series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Their deal with the company clearly solidifies a preemptive investment in the quality and longevity of the show itself.
Amazon is basically attempting to make good on its promise to search for the Next Big Show, even if neither of these deals screams Game of Thrones-level obsessions. Landing such big names makes us take notice on a base level, especially if those names also court controversy. The sexual misconduct allegations leveled at Affleck clearly did nothing to impact his rise to bigger stardom. As his profile gains in popularity and his opportunities to make projects as good as Manchester by the Sea multiply, so will that exasperation. Amazon only showers praise for Affleck, with studio head Roy Price noting:
“This deal with Casey exemplifies our focus in expanding Amazon Studios’ relationships with top-notch filmmakers and content creators. Our goal is to be in business with high caliber talent in order to grow our slate of quality content for our customers.”
Meanwhile, the Palladinos have been delivering the goods as well. Despite a bit of a bumpy critical start on Mrs. Maisel, Amazon users themselves have loved the show’s pilot, ensuring one of Amazon’s best reception scores for one of their pilots. No doubt the initial Gilmore Girls following are excited for another extended series featuring Sherman-Palladino’s biting witticisms. According to Joe Lewis, Head of Comedy, Drama, and VR at Amazon Studios, the duo’s work ethic and relationship with the company is highly cherished:
“Amy and Dan are brilliant. Everything they create has such an incredible vision behind it. On top of that, they’re wonderfully funny and smart people. […] We’re excited about the next two seasons of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel with them and, with this deal, we can’t wait to do a lot more together.”
Amazon is reaching far and wide for talent to bulk up original programming. In recent months, the studio has signed overall deals with Jill Soloway (Transparent), Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead) and Justin Doble (Stranger Things), extending every which way to rope in creators of everyone’s favorite shows. It’s unsurprising then that Sherman-Palladino and Palladino would so freely proclaim, “Amazon is the future of television and we are thrilled to tag along for the ride.” Whether it is biting off more than it can chew is something that’s too early to speculate. For now, it would seem that the company is practically unstoppable.