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'Fear Street' Director Reveals Interesting Story Behind the Film Series' Move from Theatrical to Netflix

'Fear Street' Director Reveals Interesting Story Behind the Film Series' Move from Theatrical to Netflix

The first part of the Fear Street film trilogy is streaming now on Netflix and it’s currently the number one film on the streaming service.

The streamer has set up a weekly release schedule for the film series with part two coming this Friday and part three being released next Friday.

When the film series was greenlit, it was originally intended to get a theatrical release from 20th Century Fox, but then things changed last year. Director Leigh Janiak is now speaking out to explain the interesting story about what happened.

Click inside to read more…

Before the trilogy began filming in early March 2019, Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox was rumored to happen and it finally became official on March 20, 2019.

“The merger hadn’t happened yet, [but] there were kind of whispers in the ether about it,” Janiak told IndieWire. “We knew it was going to happen but it wasn’t official. Moving forward to get the green light was a little challenging too, because there was a lot of political moving around that was happening at the studio, and also just them I think not knowing what was exactly going to happen.”

“While we were shooting, that’s when the merger became reality,” she continued. “Of course, in the back of my head, I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God. Disney, great. What horror movies does Disney make? What does that mean?’ Then on top of that, I’m also thinking, we have this kind of very innovative, new idea that we’re doing here, which is movies that are going to be released in close proximity, and what does that mean for the theaters? How do the traditional studios get their head around it? It was all kind of like, what is going to happen?”

Filming was complete by the end of August 2019 and the plan was to begin releasing the movies in June 2020 with one month in between each film’s release. Then the pandemic changed things.

“Shortly into 2020, the pandemic hit and everything was different then,” Janiak said. “We got reduced to a very small [post-production] crew. I think the conversations with Netflix had started earlier, but that’s when it became immortalized and real. To be honest, Netflix was kind of pursuing this from before the green light. They just couldn’t because of the way Chernin Entertainment’s deal worked with Fox.”

It was reported that Netflix picked up the film trilogy in August 2020.

“It was a dream come true for me because I was like, okay, this is a new thing. Netflix is good at doing new things,” Janiak said. “They are not burdened by old structures and old ideas for what distribution must mean or what a movie means or what a TV show means. Their minds are just like, ‘Let’s try this. Let’s do it.’ I was super excited when that happened.”

Instead of the monthly release plan, Netflix shortened the window and set up a weekly release plan.

“I’m excited about the week apart because it still lets you have that event thing, but also not too much,” Janiak said. “I shouldn’t even be saying this, but I hate waiting. I hate waiting! I want the instant gratification too. I think this is a happy medium of a little bit of a wait, but not too much where you’re still like, ‘Ugh. I have to wait this long?’ I was so annoyed when I was waiting for Mare of Easttown [episodes], I was like, ‘How do we have to wait every week to get to this?’”

Fear Street Part 1: 1994 is streaming right now. Fear Street Part 2: 1978 premieres on July 9 and Fear Street Part 3: 1666 premieres on July 16. Watch the trailer for the second part!

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Photos: Netflix
Posted to: Fear Street, Leigh Janiak, Movies, Netflix

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