Netflix is assuring its subscribers that it won’t run out of new movies and TV shows to release during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its recent Q1 2020 earnings call, the company stressed that it has extensive backlog of content that is finished or near-completed that it will continue to release as many people remain at home practicing social distancing.
That’s because Netflix produces its shows and films “really far out relative to the industry,” chief content officer Ted Sarandos said during the call. “We don’t anticipate moving things around,” he added.
This will help Netflix keep content coming at a steady pace, as work on many of its movie and shows had to be put on hold in response to the ongoing global health crisis. Some of the affected productions include the fourth season of Stranger Things, Red Notice, an action-comedy film starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Gal Gadot and Vancouver’s own Ryan Reynolds and Pieces of Her, a thriller series starring Hereditary‘s Toni Collette that’s shooting in Vancouver.
It’s worth noting that Netflix has several notable new originals dropping over the next month, including Chris Hemsworth action movie Extraction (April 24th), American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy’s period piece drama series Hollywood (May 1st), Jerry Seinfeld standup special Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours To Kill (May 5th), interactive special Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy Vs. the Reverend (May 12th) and Steve Carell’s sci-fi comedy series Space Force (May 29th). In terms of Canadian content, the second season of Trailer Park Boys: The Animated Series is also hitting Netflix on May 22nd.
Beyond that, Netflix is also in post-production on several titles, like the fourth season of The Crown and animated family film Over the Moon. In fact, more than 200 of its show are being worked on remotely in post. Further, all of its animated series, by virtue of not needing to be filmed on a physical set, are being developed remotely as well.
Altogether, the company has wrapped production on almost all of its 2020 slate of content and finished filming many projects for next year. Meanwhile, Netflix can always license or acquire content from other companies. It’s already done that with Kumail Nanjiani’s The Lovebirds romantic comedy (releasing May 22nd), which Paramount was going to release in theatres this month before the pandemic hit, as well as Legendary’s Millie Bobby Brown-led Sherlock Holmes spin-off Enola Holmes (undated).
However, Netflix acknowledged that there is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding its business in the long-term. “No one knows how long it will be until we can safely restart physical production in various countries, and, once we can, what international travel will be possible, and how negotiations for various resources (e.g., talent, stages and post-production) will play out,” the company wrote in a letter to shareholders.
Therefore, the company told investors to keep their expectations going forward, despite its recent confirmation that it brought in more than twice as many new subscribers than expected last quarter.