Steven Soderbergh has always been a director willing to push boundaries. His 2005 film Bubble was one of the first movies to ever get an internet release, and his most recent project, Unsane, was shot entirely with an iPhone. Thus it makes sense that he’s now collaborating with Netflix, who have quickly changed the release strategies of TV and film and the way we consume content.
The streaming giant has purchased the director’s latest project, High Flying Bird. The film stars Andre Holland – having previously worked with Soderbergh on The Knick – as an NBA agent who pitches his rookie basketball client on a controversial business opportunity during a pro basketball lockout.
The film also stars Zazie Beetz, Melvin Gregg, Sonja Sohn, Zachary Quinto, Kyle McLachlan, and Bill Duke. Soderbergh himself said of the deal:
“We had several strong options for distributing High Flying Bird, but to borrow the patois of the movie itself, this deal felt like a slam dunk and the perfect way for me to begin my relationship with Netflix as a director”.
This is a match that just makes sense. While other directors, actors, and festival heads are holding onto their love of traditional theatrical releases, Soderbergh has always been someone willing to try something new.
Netflix has earned nothing but praise from creators for the immense creative freedom they allow, and if this turns into a long term deal, it should allow Soderbergh to finally get to make the films he wants, all the time. Which is great news for film lovers.