Ben Affleck says Netflix's 'assembly line' approach to making quality films is 'an impossible job'
Ben Affleck, here in New York last month, likened Netflix's model for moviemaking to an 'assembly line.' (Thos Robinson/Getty Images)
Dan Heching, CNN
Published Monday, December 5, 2022 12:37PM EST
Ben Affleck is sounding off on how movies are being made in today's age of Netflix and other streaming platforms, which offer an ever-expanding glut of content.
The actor, producer and director, who is starting a new film studio of his own with friend and colleague Matt Damon alongside RedBird Capital Partners, shared his take on Netflix's approach to moviemaking, which he likened to an "assembly line."
Making films "is a thing that requires attention and dedication and work and it resists the sort of assembly line process," Affleck shared in reference to Netflix, while attending the New York Times 2022 DealBook Conference last week.
"[Netflix's head of original films] Scott Stuber is a really talented, smart guy who I really like...but it's an impossible job," he added.
The "Argo" star also said that if you ask Netflix co-CEO and chairman Reed Hastings about their ambitious approach of making 50 great movies, "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 a year? How is that possible?' There's no committee big enough. There aren't enough -- you just can't do it."
Affleck acknowledged that "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 not be mindful of that. But let's do a good one, let's surprise the audience, let's make them care about it."
At Artists Equity, which is being branded as a creator-led studio, Affleck and company hope to reimagine the relationships between studios, artists and crews working in the industry.
As seen in Variety, Artists Equity already has a first project in production -- a yet-to-be-titled drama about the beginnings of Nike's incredibly popular Air Jordan sneaker brand. Written and directed by Affleck, the film stars Damon as the executive who landed the endorsement deal for the shoe with Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan.