Announced today from our pals over at The Hollywood Reporter is the news that Warner Bros. has just lost one of their more talented executives in the form of Niija Kuykendall, who has opted to join streaming platform Netflix to lead a brand-spanking new film group. This wunderkind was one of the visionaries responsible for bringing such projects as Judas and the Black Messiah and the latest remake of A Star is Born to the silver screen. Enjoyed a particular Warner film in the last handful of years? Dollars to doughnuts that Kuykendall had some hand in getting it out to cinemas across the ever-lovin’ globe.
So, what’s this new Netflix film group and how does the marvelous Ms. Kuykendall fit into it all? According to word ‘round campfire, this stalwart of the film industry will be acting as Vice President of film and personally oversee a brand new features group that will focus on mid-sized films, the sort that is oft-times in danger of falling between the cracks and getting lost amidst their bigger and more star-driven cinema brethren.
In a press release announcing the acquisition of Kuykendall, Netflix Big Wheel (and Head of Film) Scott Stuber said that “Niija’s experience and reputation is stellar, and she brings strength to Netflix through her relationships and creative talents. For some time there has been a significant gap in the market for mid-range films and Niija has a fantastic track record of championing those projects. We’re thrilled that she’ll be leading a new team that will further ensure audiences continue to be entertained by our movies.”
The arrival of Kuykendall comes at a critical time for Netflix; the behemoth company is taking pains to majorly move up production on films and television projects exclusive to their brand while also elevating the quality of its product. To borrow a line from Tim Robbins’ Griffin Mill: “Movies, now more than ever!”
Woman of the Hour Niija Kuykendall issued a statement today about her new role with Netflix: “I am so excited to join the excellent team at Netflix and build a new group that will be focused on the mid-sized movie space. I look forward to continuing my work of advocating for and partnering with incredible filmmakers to tell impactful and meaningful stories of all genres.”
Will Kuykendall succeed in bolstering the smaller film genre? Only time – and regular updates from your friendly neighborhood Vents – will tell!