Netflix Names ‘The Lego Movie’ Producer Dan Lin Film Chief to Replace Scott Stuber

Liem Soeng

Netflix Names ‘The Lego Movie’ Producer Dan Lin Film Chief to Replace Scott Stuber

Netflix has named Dan Lin, the producer of “The Lego Movie” and Netflix’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender” live-action adaptation, as the new Chairman of Film to replace Scott Stuber, the company announced Wednesday.

The film industry veteran will begin on April 1 and report to Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer. Stuber, who announced his exit last month and that he would step down in March, was with the streamer seven years.

“Dan’s experience as both an executive and a producer is marked by a consistent ability to draw in exceptional filmmakers,” content chief Bela Bajaria said in a statement. “But what really got my attention was his creation of Rideback, a dynamic community for filmmakers, fostering collaborative and creative environments. His visionary approach has led to the establishment of incubators and residencies, propelling the careers of extraordinary talent, as well as a steady slate of blockbuster films. I can’t wait for Dan to infuse Netflix with his innovation and talent. I’m excited to work with him to bring a diverse range of exceptional films to our global audience.”

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“While I’ve been approached many times during my past 15 years at Rideback, I could truly never imagine leaving until Bela reached out with this incredible opportunity,” Lin said. “Bela’s vision for the Netflix film division immediately interested me as it aligned so strongly with my own personal and professional values and what we have been building at Rideback. There is such a strong foundation that’s already been established in the film division at Netflix, one I’m excited to take to the next level as we continue growing this creative community to make Netflix the #1 home for filmmakers. My past experiences working with Ted and the Netflix team on ‘The Two Popes’ and most recently ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender,’ have been exceptional, so this felt like a natural transition to join a team that I highly respect and have been in the trenches with already.

“It’s always been my aspiration at Rideback to make movies with worldwide appeal and universal themes, and there is no better place to do that than at the company with the widest global audience. It’s an incredible opportunity that I couldn’t say no to, and as hard as it is to leave Rideback, a company I love, I’m excited now to hand over the reins to the new Co-CEO’s Jonathan Eirich and Michael LoFaso who will no doubt take Rideback to levels that even I hadn’t envisioned.”

Lin is founder and CEO of Rideback, the entertainment company that has produced films grossing a collective $6 billion in global box office. He’s also produced films in the “It,” “Sherlock Holmes,” and “Lego” franchises, as well as “Godzilla: King of Monsters,” “Gangster Squad,” “Aladdin,” “Easter Sunday,” “Haunted Mansion,” and Netflix’s “The Two Popes.” Prior to founding Rideback in 2008, Lin served as Senior Vice President of Production for Warner Bros. Pictures. During his eight-year tenure at the studio from 1999 to 2007, he oversaw films such as Martin Scorsese’s Best Picture winner “The Departed.”

Other names in the mix for the top Netflix job included Disney’s Sean Bailey, who just exited the studio as its live-action film head after 15 years with the company.

Lin had also previously been in the running for the job at DC Studios that eventually went to James Gunn and Peter Safran, but those talks ultimately fell apart.

Stuber announced his exit from Netflix in January after seven years with the streamer. He planned to stay on through the middle of March before then forming his own company. He leaves Lin with a reputation as a place where filmmakers wanted to work, be it Alejandro González Iñárritu, the Russo Brothers, Martin Scorsese, Jane Campion, or Zack Snyder.

Netflix could, in the future, lean more into franchises and away from some of the filmmaker-driven projects Stuber championed, and someone who has managed IP as well as Lin could be ideal for executing that vision. Stuber always pushed for Netflix to give more of its films a theatrical run, which co-chief Ted Sarandos has been less willing to commit to, so Lin’s challenge will be building franchises in a way that people will want to watch them on the streaming platform.

Coming up on Netflix’s 2024 slate are films like “Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley” with Eddie Murphy, “The Electric State” from the Russo Brothers starring Millie Bobby Brown, “The Old Guard 2” with Charlize Theron, “The Piano Lesson” with Samuel L. Jackson and Denzel Washington, Richard Linklater’s festival favorite “Hit Man,” and Jerry Seinfeld’s Pop-Tart movie “Unfrosted,” to name a few. Netflix also has a new “Chronicles of Narnia” film from Greta Gerwig still in development. The studio notched 18 2024 Oscar nominations, more than any other individual studio.

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