To boost its Japanese content ambitions, Netflix has signed a five-year strategic partnership with The Seven, a production company of Tokyo Broadcasting System Holdings (TBS Holdings). Under the agreement, The Seven’s creative team will “produce multiple original live-action titles available exclusively for Netflix,” the two partners said on Tuesday. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The new agreement builds on previous work Netflix has done with both TBS and the main creative team at The Seven. Akira Morii, who leads development and production at The Seven, recently worked closely with the streamer as the driving producer behind the breakthrough Japanese original Alice in Borderland, which returns for a second season next month. Netflix has also picked up several TBS shows for its service, including: Japan is sinking: people of hope, The Future Diaryand Let’s part.
Morii is already working with Netflix on several upcoming Japanese originals – including Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead and Yu Yu Hakusho – and he will drive development for all live action shows produced under the new partnership. Meanwhile, Tomofumi Akahane, the visual effects producer of The Seven (known for murder class, The confidential adviser JPamong others), will take care of the collaboration’s VFX needs.
“The Seven’s mission is to bring ‘immersive moments’ to audiences around the world with stories developed and produced in entirely new ways, right here from Japan,” said Tatsuo Sugai, president of The Seven. “Today our team is finally at the start. We bring in producers with experience developing global titles and an experienced business team, all with access to state-of-the-art production facilities. In conjunction with our partnership with Netflix, we are moving full steam ahead to bring the best stories to the world.”
Morii added: “The success of Alice in Borderland convinced us that stories from Japan can reach a global audience. It’s a great example of captivating visuals created with incredible attention to detail by local Japanese creators [can touch] the hearts of fans around the world.”
The Seven team has also entered into an agreement that gives it access to an expanded new production facility of more than 10,000 square meters, currently under construction at Midoriyama Studio City in Yokohama, Japan. The facility is expected to become one of the largest and most up-to-date soundstages in the Tokyo metropolitan area, which is currently severely short of studio space amid a growing boom in local production.