The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who moved to California earlier this year, had been pitching movies and TV plans around Hollywood, Variety previously reported. Under their new, multi-year deal at Netflix, the couple will make documentaries, feature films, scripted television shows and children’s series.
“Our lives, both independent of each other and as a couple, have allowed us to understand the power of the human spirit: of courage, resilience, and the need for connection,” Meghan and Harry said in a statement. “Through our work with diverse communities and their environments, to shining a light on people and causes around the world, our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope.”
The couple will be focused on creating a wide variety of series about stories and issues that are close to their hearts, such as those that their newly formed nonprofit, Archewell, will highlight. Several projects are already in development, including a nature docuseries and an animated series centered on inspirational women.
“As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us, as is powerful storytelling through a truthful and relatable lens,” they said. “We are pleased to work with Ted and the team at Netflix whose unprecedented reach will help us share impactful content that unlocks action.”
The Duke and Duchess want to highlight diverse voices in front of and behind the camera, and are committed to diverse hiring practices for key roles at their production company, according to a source familiar with the deal.
“Harry and Meghan have inspired millions of people all around the world with their authenticity, optimism and leadership,” Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos added. “We’re incredibly proud they have chosen Netflix as their creative home – and are excited about telling stories with them that can help build resilience and increase understanding for audiences everywhere.”
Netflix has attracted a long list of top talent in recent years, including Barack and Michelle Obama, Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy. The streamer shelled out hundreds of millions to work with the creative minds behind smash hits like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Glee,” but it’s unclear how much Harry and Meghan’s agreement is worth.
Markle, who previously starred in the legal drama “Suits,” briefly returned to Hollywood to narrate the Disney Plus documentary “Elephants.” The non-fiction film benefitted Elephants Without Borders, an organization that protects wildlife in Botswana. But sources stress that she has no plans to return to acting.
Harry recently worked with the filmmakers of Netflix’s documentary “Rising Phoenix,” a well-reviewed feature that takes a look at the global impact of the Paralympic Games.
Earlier this year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their plans to step back as senior members of the royal family and become financially independent. The couple has been living in Los Angeles since March and recently purchased a $14.7 million home in the affluent town of Montecito.
The New York Times first reported the news.
Elaine Low contributed to this report.