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Netflix and Dreamworks Extend Partnership With ‘Fast & Furious’ Animated Series

Dreamworks Animation Television will produce a Fast & Furious animated series for Netflix, the two companies announced today. The still that was released suggests that computer animation will be used for at least the cars (and possible the whole show).

There’s a couple things that are interesting here. First, we’re seeing a synergy between Dreamworks and its new parent, Comcast-NBCUniversal, which acquired the company in 2016. In the announcement, Netflix mentioned that they have a first-look deal for Dreamworks animated series based on Universal film properties, like Fast & Furious. This marks an expansion from the earlier set-up, where Dreamworks was producing some original content, like Trollhunters, but mostly providing Netflix with spinoffs based on the properties it owned, like Spirit Riding Free, Trolls: The Beat Goes On, and Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Second, as we pointed out recently, the original Dreamworks-Netflix deal
that called for over 300 hours of programming is wrapping up. The deal resulted in 14 original Netflix series, plus five additional ones to come (She-Ra, Harvey Street Kids, The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants, 3 Below, and Wizards). There’s been a lingering question of whether Netflix would continue the deal in some form or another, especially now that the streamer is in the process of setting up its own in-house animation studio.

The Fast & Furious series, which is described as “the first series in an expansion” of the original deal, shows that Netflix may still rely on Dreamworks for content, though it will be done on a series-by-series basis, and will now include the option of series based on Universal film properties. This opens up potential series based on Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, E.T., and The Mummy, to name a few possibilities.

“We are thrilled to take our fantastic partnership with Dreamworks Animation to the next level with new opportunities from the vast library of Universal Pictures,” said Melissa Cobb, Netflix’s vice president of kids and family.

In the new Fast & Furious series, teenager Tony Toretto follows in the footsteps of his cousin Dom when he and his friends are recruited by a government agency to infiltrate an elite racing league serving as a front for a nefarious crime organization bent on world domination.

Executive producers and showrunners are Tim Hedrick (story editor/writer, DreamWorks Voltron Legendary Defender) and Bret Haaland (executive producer, All Hail King Julien). Also onboard as executive producers: Vin Diesel, Neal Moritz, and Chris Morgan, who also serve as producers on the live-action Fast & Furious franchise.

“We are excited to extend and expand our successful relationship with Netflix by not only delivering more high-quality Dreamworks programming, but connecting fans of Universal films with fascinating new stories,” said Margie Cohn, president of Dreamworks Animation Television. “Our new home at Universal marks an exciting new chapter for storytelling at our studio, and Fast & Furious is only the beginning.”

The Fast & Furious theatrical franchise has generated eight films that have grossed over $5 billion in worldwide box office. Three more features are scheduled to debut in July 2019, April 2020, and April 2021.

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