Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sign multi-year Netflix deal
Prince Harry and Meghan have signed a multi-year deal to make TV series, films, and children’s shows for Netflix, as part of their new careers away from the frontline of the royal family.
The royal couple, who recently bought a family home in the Santa Barbara area of Los Angeles, join other high-profile figures including the former US president Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, in signing a production deal with the streaming firm.
The value of the deal was not disclosed but with two such high-profile names attached to productions, Netflix, which will spend more than $17bn this year making and buying shows and films, will be considered well worth backing, www.theguardian.com reports.
“With the global streaming wars at fever pitch, the competition for the most high-profile talent has never been hotter,” said Richard Broughton, an analyst at the media consultancy Ampere. “Harry and Meghan bring a UK royalty brand to Netflix, regardless of whether they are the stars of the production, which will resonate internationally and particularly with audiences in the US and UK, two of its most important markets.”
The Sussexes, who have had to become self-sufficient after announcing in January that they intended to “step back” as senior members the royal family, have set up a production company to develop projects for Netflix.
“Our lives, both independent of each other and as a couple, have allowed us to understand the power of the human spirit, of courage, resilience and the need for connection,” the couple said in a statement.
“Through our work with diverse communities and their environments, to shining a light on people and causes around the world, our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope. As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us, as is powerful storytelling through a truthful and relatable lens.”
The Sussexes have reportedly held meetings with a number of Hollywood studios and Netflix’s streaming rivals since moving to California this year. Meghan, best known before meeting Harry for her role in the legal drama series Suits, made her return to showbusiness in April with a narration role in Disney’s nature documentary Elephant.
The couple are unlikely to star in productions – the Duchess of Sussex has said she does not intend to return to acting – but they may appear on screen in documentary projects. Harry recently featured in Netflix’s documentary Rising Phoenix, about the Paralympic Games, and joined Oprah Winfrey to produce a docuseries on mental health for Apple’s streaming service, Apple TV+.
Barack and Michelle Obama signed a deal with Netflix in 2018 and went on to acquire the Sundance hit American Factory, which won the Oscar for best documentary. Becoming, a documentary focused on Michelle Obama, was released this year.