Sony, without its own streaming platform, has found a home for its movie library.
The studio and Netflix announced on Thursday a five-year agreement that gives Netflix domestic streaming rights to Sony’s theatrical releases beginning with its 2022 lineup. The movies would begin streaming after their theatrical and home-entertainment windows. Netflix will also license select older movies from Sony’s library.
Netflix will also have a first-look option for any movies Sony is making directly for streaming or planning to license for streaming, and Netflix has already committed to a number of those.
The deal includes future Sony “Spider-Man” movies and other titles that are part of Sony’s universe of Marvel characters like “Morbius,” which hits theaters in January 2022 and stars Jared Leto as a vampire that is a frequent Spider-Man villain in the comics.
Disney, which owns Marvel, ended its streaming deal with Netflix last year after the launch of its own streamer, Disney Plus. But Sony still owns the film rights to Spider-Man and 900 related Marvel characters and the MCU “Spider-Man” movies have been absent from Disney Plus.
Sony and Disney struck a deal in 2015 in which Spider-Man could appear in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe. After a brief feud in 2019 in which neither studio could agree on terms for the character’s future appearances, a deal was reached in which actor Tom Holland’s Spider-Man could star in a third MCU solo movie and appear in another future Marvel Studios film.
That third “Spider-Man” movie, “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” is scheduled for theatrical release in December.
Other Sony movie franchises include “Men in Black,” “Ghostbusters,” “Bad Boys,” and “Jumanji.” Future installments in the latter two franchises are in the works. Sony’s “Uncharted,” based on the hit video-game series, is also set to hit theaters in February 2022.
Sony is the only major studio of the big five (Disney, Universal, Paramount, and Warner Bros.) without a streaming component. Its deal with Netflix puts its future movies in front of millions of users after their theatrical runs, and gives Netflix a library to compete with Hollywood studios that have been taking back their content to boost their own streaming businesses.