Ben Affleck took a swipe at Netflix’s ‘assembly line process’ of production as he spoke about the launch of his new movie studio with Matt Damon this week.
The Oscar-winner, 50 – who is married to Jennifer Lopez, 53 – spoke of his desire to focus on smaller dramas rather than huge action films, as he questioned Netflix’s focus on ‘quantity’ over quality.
Speaking at the New York Times’ Dealbook Summit, the actor, who has launched Artists Equity with Damon and RedBird Capital Partners, said: ‘If you ask [Netflix co-CEO and chairman] Reed Hastings…he’d say, “Hey, we went for quantity to establish a footprint.”
I’m sure there’s wisdom in that and I’m sure they had a great strategy, but I would have said, “How are we going to make 50 great movies? How is that possible?” There’s no committee big enough. There aren’t enough — you just can’t do it.’
Comment: Ben Affleck took a swipe at Netflix’s ‘assembly line process’ of production as he spoke about the launch of his new movie studio with Matt Damon this week (March 2022)
It’s a thing that requires attention and dedication and work and resists the assembly line process.
‘[Netflix’s head of original films] Scott Stuber is a really talented, smart guy who I really like…but it’s an impossible job.’
Affleck has strong family ties with Netflix – in 2021 his wife Lopez’s company Nuyorican Productions signed a multi-year deal to produce scripted and unscripted TV and films.
He continued: ‘There’s a bigger audience for action movies than there is for small dramas. I get that. Certain genres play more broadly and you can’t be mindful of that. But let’s do a good one, let’s surprise the audience, let’s make them care about it.’
The venture between Argo star Ben and the Martian actor, 52, was announced earlier this year with Artists Equity described as an ‘artist-led studio that partners with filmmakers to empower creative vision and broaden access to profit participation
Pals: The venture between Argo star Ben and the Martian actor, 52, was announced earlier this year with Artists Equity described as an ‘artist-led studio that partners with filmmakers to empower creative vision and broaden access to profit participation’ (pictured 2021)
Streaming success: Stranger Things is one of Netflix’s biggest success stories
Cardinale’s company, which manages more than a billion dollars in assets, is reportedly making a ‘significant financial commitment’ to the company.
Ben and Matt, who have been friends for decades and won Oscars for co-writing the 1997 movie Good Will Hunting, have generated more than $10 billion at the box office.
They’ve starred in more than 100 films and will reportedly lead the company together.
‘Artists Equity was conceived from Matt’s and my longtime passion for the art of storytelling and our shared desire to help creators deliver on their vision, as we have been fortunate to do throughout our careers,’ Affleck said in a statement to Deadline.
He continued, ‘The entertainment industry is defined by great partnerships – writers, directors, producers, crew, actors – and throughout my career I have learned that collaboration is what drives success. Our goal with Artists Equity is to build a creator focused studio that can optimize the production process with shared participation in the commercial success of projects.’
Affleck will serve as the CEO of the new enterprise.
Artists Equity’s first project is already finished according to IMDb. It is titled Air Jordan and will tell the story ‘of shoe salesman Sonny Vaccaro (Damon), and how he led Nike in its pursuit of the greatest athlete in the history of sports: Michael Jordan.’
Affleck will write, direct and co-star in the movie alongside his longtime friend Matt Damon who co-wrote the script.
Air Jordan will also feature Jason Bateman, Viola Davis, Marlon Wayans, Chris Tucker and Chris Messina.
New company: The Oscar-winner, 50 – who is married to Jennifer Lopez , 53 – spoke of his desire to focus on smaller dramas rather than huge action films, as he questioned Netflix’s focus on ‘quantity’ over quality (pictured November 2016)
The movie does not yet have a release date.
This comes after Jennifer revealed she would love to return to the big screen with her husband Ben Affleck someday, nearly two decades after they starred in Gigli together.
During Vogue’s 73 Questions interview, released on Wednesday, the singer, 53, said of all her movies, she would ‘most want to make a sequel of’ the poorly-reviewed box office flop.
In response, interviewer, Joe Sabia, teased the film was ‘critically-acclaimed,’ which made the Hustlers actress laugh as she poured them both a cup of tea.
When asked who made her ‘laugh the most in between takes,’ the mother-of-two immediately said her spouse, who also appeared in 2004’s Jersey Girl.
She went on to discuss how she relates the most to Selena Quintanilla Pérez, who she portrayed in the 1997 musical biopic, of all her characters.
As for what movie she ‘really’ regrets turning down, Lopez revealed she passed on the 2002 erotic thriller film, Unfaithful.
Co-founder: Cardinale’s company, which manages more than a billion dollars in assets, is making a ‘significant financial commitment’ to the company, named Artists Equity (RedBird CEO Gerry Cardinale pictured 2018)
The two-time Grammy nominee went on to state that she believes her ‘most underappreciated’ is the film, El Cantante (2006), alongside ex-husband Marc Anthony.
Her most challenging role, however, was seasoned strip club dancer, Ramona Vega in Hustlers, which required learning to pole dance.
Ramona. The pole. The pole,’ she recalled while playfully shaking her head.
Her interview comes just days after she opened up about falling in love with her Affleck, the effects of their breakup and rekindling their romance 18 years later.
The celebrity couple known as ‘Bennifer’, reconnected last year and ultimately tied the knot in a stunning ceremony in Georgia in August 2022.
Speaking to Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 to reflect on the 20th anniversary of her landmark album This Is Me…Then, Jennifer got candid about her and Ben’s love story.
‘I think what happened is, as we worked together, we became such good friends. We realized that we were crazy about each other,’ she said.
Lopez continued: ‘I found myself kind of thinking about him after the movie was over. And having to take care of my own business, because I was coming out of a relationship at that time.’
‘But it’s like you just knew it. It’s just like, “This is the person I want to be with.” And that happened over a period of months. It wasn’t an instant thing because we weren’t allowed to do that. Yeah, it kind of grew over time,’ she explained.
She called their breakup the ‘biggest heartbreak of my life’ and gushed about how the couple finally got their ‘happy ending’ 20 years down the line.
Meant to be: Her interview comes just days after Jennifer Lopez opened up on falling in love with Ben, the effects of their breakup and rekindling their romance 18 years later