Netflix’s Head of Film, Scott Stuber, Is Departing

Scott Stuber, who brought Oscar-winning filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Jane Campion and Alfonso Cuarón to Netflix and in doing so helped to usher the entertainment industry into the streaming era, is leaving as the service’s film chairman, the company said on Monday.

News of Mr. Stuber’s departure came on the eve of the Oscar nominations. During his tenure, which began in 2017, Netflix has had eight films nominated for best picture, though a win in that category has proved elusive.

“Scott has helped lead the new paradigm of how movies are made, distributed and watched,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s co-chief executive, said in a statement. “He attracted unbelievable creative talent to Netflix, making us a premiere film studio.”

While Mr. Stuber’s slate of movies helped to boost Netflix’s business substantially, he often clashed with Mr. Sarandos over strategy. Mr. Stuber often tried to appease filmmakers by pushing for wider theatrical releases than Mr. Sarandos was willing to undertake.

Still, Netflix received the most Oscar nominations of any studio in 2020, 2021 and 2022. In addition to critical hits like Mr. Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” Ms. Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” and Mr. Cuarón’s “Roma,” Mr. Stuber’s tenure produced popular hits like “Red Notice,” “Bird Box” and “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.”

He made big bets on filmmakers he wanted to lure to the studio, spending $450 million to secure two “Knives Out” sequels from Rian Johnson and more than $160 million for Zack Snyder’s recent release, “Rebel Moon.” Greta Gerwig, who directed and co-wrote the blockbuster “Barbie,” is also working with Netflix on adapting two films based on the “Chronicles of Narnia” book series.

“Maestro,” a biopic of the composer Leonard Bernstein, which Bradley Cooper wrote, directed and stars in, is one of the Netflix films expected to pick up several Oscar nominations this year. (Netflix will also announce its fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday.)

Netflix was sometimes criticized for prizing quantity over quality in its film strategy, a knock that Mr. Stuber acknowledged.

“I think one of the fair criticisms has been we make too much and not enough is great,” he said in an interview in 2021, adding, “I think what we want to do is refine and make a little less better and more great.”

In a statement on Monday, Mr. Stuber thanked Mr. Sarandos and Reed Hastings, Netflix’s co-founder and executive chairman, for “the amazing opportunity to join Netflix and create a new home for original movies.”

“I am proud of what we accomplished,” he said, “and am so grateful to all the filmmakers and talent who trusted us to help tell their stories.”

Mr. Stuber is scheduled to leave in March and will start his own media company. Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s chief content officer, will assume Mr. Stuber’s duties when he leaves. Last year, she essentially became Mr. Stuber’s boss, putting a management layer between him and Mr. Sarandos.

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