Zack Snyder signs first-look movie deal with his new buddies at Netflix

Indicating that his divorce from his old buddies at Warner Bros. really is well and truly final, Zack Snyder has just made things official with new beau Netflix, signing a first-look movie deal with the streaming service on any new projects he develops. Specifically, the deal—financial details as yet unknown—would give Netflix a contractual first look on anything produced by Stone Quarry Productions, which is co-owned by Snyder, his wife and frequent collaborator Deborah Snyder, and long-time producing partner Wesley Coller. The Stone Quarry (or, as it was previously known, Cruel And Unusual Productions) has been Snyder’s production slate stretching all the way back to his Dawn Of The Dead remake, and had credits on not just the Snyder-directed DC Comics movies, but the entire line of comic book adaptations he masterminded, all the way up through last year’s Wonder Woman 1984.

That roster includes, of course, this year’s recent hit Army Of The Dead, which marked the beginning of what’s now looking to be the Netflix phase of Snyder’s career. Said new digs are obviously spurred in part by Snyder’s clear unhappiness with how everything surrounding Justice League—and even the apparently amicable and supportive (even, arguably, indulgent) release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League—went down over the last few years at Warner. Or, as Deborah Snyder put it (indirectly) in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter today: “For us, it was so important to find a partnership that was based on mutual respect. The creative process works best when everybody trusts each other and you can take chances and be creative.”

Among other things, Warner Bros. had originally called for some measure of restraint in the early versions of Army, which: Restraint is not exactly a Zack Snyder watchword, especially when he’s got zombie showgirls on the brain. Meanwhile, Netflix has been totally gung-ho on the project, having released the film to strong viewership numbers—claiming 75 million accounts watched the movie in its first month on the service—and green-lighting both a prequel film (Army Of Thieves) and an anime series. Which all adds up to why this deal makes some pretty obvious sense—pairing, as it does, a studio always in need of big-name talent to show up those who still see streaming as a secondary market, and a director who’s made it clear he didn’t feel respected by a long-term partner that once hailed him as the architect of all its greatest franchise ambitions. Can these two crazy kids make it in this hard-scrabble business? Only time—and gob-smacking amounts of money thrown at zombie movies, Rebel Moon, etc.—will tell.