NOT DEADLINE

HOW DAN LIN COMPROMISED HIS VALUES TO WORK FOR NETFLIX...

Dan Lin is a nice guy, if not the nicest. His blood, sweat, and tears built a topflight production company called Rideback, which signed a five year first look deal with Universal Studios in January 2021 because he (Dan) per a press release said he was “happy to align with a studio that had boldly innovatived new approaches to making and distributing movies.” Then, midway through the Universal deal, as the world emerged from the pandemic, Dan doubled down and said that theaters still turn movies into “cultural moments” more than streaming movies, which “come and go.” (He was spot on about this. Inject truth serum into anyone with a film streaming on Netflix and they’ll tell you it’s where feature films go to die.)

SO WHY NOW, in spite of everything Dan believed in, did he jump aboard culturally averse, theatrically allergic Netflix and tell the world it was because the streamer’s philosophy aligned so strongly with his own personal and professional values and what he was building at Rideback?

Not Deadline wants so badly to take Dan at his word, but at some point when an SEC filing and/or quarterly report is filed by Netflix, we will know how much money and stock options it took to convince Dan to abandon his mantra. Don’t get us wrong. Not Deadline is fully aware of the challenges and all consumptive lifestyle this sort of career can have on someone. Dan has been a grinder in this business for decades and balances that with a wife, kids, and charitable endeavors. Running a company, chasing financing, and pleading for green lights is a fool’s errand at a certain stage of life.  Maybe, it was time to smell the roses! If so, Dan Lin should have said that producing is a wonderful thing, that he has accomplished his goals to this point, and that he wants to shift gears and decide which movies to make rather than convincing others to make his.

In the meantime, Not Deadline will hope and pray that, long before his lucrative contract expires, Dan’s nose tires of that deceptively attractive rose scent and he comes and goes from Netflix just like the feature films that stream there.

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