The news was first reported by The New York Times, which noted the deal was not yet final. A representative from Netflix declined to comment. The deal would also be with wife and former first lady Michelle Obama.
Such a move would be unprecedented in media. No previous president has ever made such a deal, instead limiting their post-presidential pacts to massive book deals. It would be another coup for Netflix, as well, which has been making a notably concerted effort in expanding its unscripted and informational original programming after making such strides in drama and comedy in recent years.
The deal is said to be focused on series that highlight inspirational stories, not anything to serve as a direct rebuttal to current president Trump or his policies. This should come as little surprise to anyone familiar with the Obamas of the last year. (The recent Obama interview with David Letterman, his first such televised sit-down since leaving office, only talked around Trump — never directly addressing him.)
Netflix is essentially a direct line of communication to 118 million global subscribers. The streamer has become one of the only content suppliers of its kind to release its originals on the same day in every market where it’s currently available.
Obama currently has a massive social reach 101 million Twitter followers but both he and Michelle have done their more significant outreach through the Obama Foundation and its newsletter. The former president closed out 2017, a tumultuous year by any standard, with an optimistic note to followers detailing stories from three inspiring Americans.
This is not the first time that Barack and Michelle have negotiated together since the end of their two terms. They previously brokered a massive $65 million with Penguin Random House to publish each of their respective books about their time in office.
There’s no word on the price tag of the potential Obama-Netflix deal, but the streamer has proven itself ready to pony up. The recent deal with mega-producer Ryan Murphy is said to be worth as much as $300 million.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter