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Barack and Michelle Obama to produce films and series for Netflix

Tuesday, May 22nd 2018 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Just when you thought you could predict its next move, Netflix has gone and signed a multi-year deal with Barack and Michelle Obama, no less, which will see the former President and First Lady produce films and series for the streaming service.

A statement released yesterday says the Obamas will produce a “diverse mix content” that could include scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features – sounds like they’re covering all bases, there.

What is confirmed is that anything coming from the Obamas’ production company Higher Ground Productions will be available to all 125 million Netflix subscribers across 190 countries. This is a global project.

“One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life, and to help them share their experiences with a wider audience,” said President Obama.

“That’s why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix – we hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world.”

'Open our minds and hearts'

Mrs Obama said: “Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others.

“Netflix’s unparalleled service is a natural fit for the kinds of stories we want to share, and we look forward to starting this exciting new partnership.”

Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, said: “Barack and Michelle Obama are among the world’s most respected and highly-recognized public figures and are uniquely positioned to discover and highlight stories of people who make a difference in their communities and strive to change the world for the better.

“We are incredibly proud they have chosen to make Netflix the home for their formidable storytelling abilities.”

Staying with the presidential theme, Netflix has also announced a new political comedy called First Ladies, which will star Jennifer Aniston as the first female President of the United States and Tig Notaro as her wife, the First Lady.

The comedy is being written by Notaro and Stephanie Allynne and will be produced by Notaro, Allynne, Aniston, Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, Jessica Elbaum and Betsy Koch, and executive produced by Chris Henchy.

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