Few people could walk into a brand new company and say “I have an idea for you, but the technology has to be invented for it.” Steven Spielberg, however, is one of those people.
The legendary director made that bold pitch for an upcoming streaming service called Quibi. (More on that in a second.) Spielberg went into the office of founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and told him he wanted to write a “super scary story” for the service, but he only wanted people to be able to watch it after midnight. Here’s what happened next, according to Variety:
Given that phones can track where it is at the moment — and keep tabs on when the sun rises and sets in its area — Katzenberg and [CEO Meg] Whitman challenged their engineers to come up with an idea for how to view the show when it’s spooky out.
The result: A clock will appear on phones, ticking down until sun sets in wherever that user is, until it’s completely gone. Then the clock starts ticking again to when the sun comes back up — and the show will disappear until the next night.
“He’s writing it himself,” Katzenberg said of the show at a recent conference. “He hasn’t [written anything in a while] so getting him to write something is fantastic.” The show is currently titled Spielberg’s After Dark, and he’s already written about half of the episodes. But, on Quibi, episodes aren’t like normal episodes.
WTF is Quibi you may be asking? Well, it’s a new service, founded by the legendary film executive Katzenberg, which will give viewers content they can watch in “quick bites.” Or...“Quibi.” Each show will run a few hours long in total but be released in short, 10-minute or so chapters, almost like a visual novel. So Spielberg’s show will really be basically a movie, it’ll just be released and consumed in tiny chunks.
Before you roll your eyes at this service, Katzenberg and his team have already signed up Guillermo del Toro, Sam Raimi, Doug Lima, Steven Soderbergh, Catherine Hardwick, Laurence Fishburne, Antoine Fuqua, and Anna Kendrick to make content. Not too shabby. Oh, they’ve also raised a billion dollars and counting.
So while Quibi may sound like a joke it most certainly is not—and it’s coming soon. It’s scheduled to officially launch in April of next year. Whether or not that will include Spielberg’s show, we can’t say, especially since we’ll be sleeping when it’s available.
For more on Quibi, head over and check Variety’s coverage. Spielberg will next direct West Side Story, followed by a fifth Indiana Jones film.
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