Netflix Writes another “Blank Check” — Rian Johnson moves “Knives Out” sequels there

So Netflix went out and rented themselves another A-list filmmaker.
Rian Johnson has signed a $400 million deal to bring two “Knives Out” sequels, starring his “gentleman amateur detective” (Daniel Craig is part of the deal) to the streaming service.

Another part of the deal? Netflix doesn’t get final cut or even “notes” on the projects. That is the Hollywood version of the “blank check.”

This is why Steven Spielberg was tossing a fit about streaming service films being eligible for Oscars. Netflix is buying its way in with deals that most studios would refuse to make.

And the upshot for viewers? Do you still think fondly of Cuaron’s “Roma,” if you ever pined for its washed-out digital black and white and obscurant “personal” story?

Under the impression that Scorsese’s “The Irishman” isn’t his weakest mob movie?

Still cheerleading for the mediocre “Treasure of the Sierra Madre as Crap Vietnam ‘History'” that Spike Lee called “Da Five Bloods?”

Still unsure whether “Mank” isn’t just a famous Fincher’s washed-out, thinly-scripted (by his late father) wank? If it isn’t the biggest loser Oscar night, I’ll be shocked.

Indulging filmmakers in an age when the “Star Director” as concept has been all but abandoned entirely isn’t an awful thing. But giving these folks all the money and zero feedback and supervision is just shoveling more bloat on the the nation’s high speed internet connections.

You can’t blame Johnson for taking the money, but the studio that backed the original film should be the entity to benefit from their gamble and show of good faith. This is greedy, and I’ll bet you money it leads to overlong dull films where Johnson cuts corners on casting. It’s the Netflix payday model. Just you watch.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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