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Ben Affleck slams Netflix ‘assembly line,’ vows quality movies from his studio


It’s Batman v. Netflix.

Ben Affleck blasted the streaming powerhouse Wednesday, comparing Netflix to an “assembly line” churning out content.

“In the event you ask [Netflix co-CEO and chairman] Reed Hastings…he’d say, ‘Hey, we went for quantity to determine a footprint,’” Affleck said on the Latest York Times’ DealBook Summit, per Variety.

“I’m sure there’s wisdom in that, and I’m sure they’d an awesome strategy, but I might have said, ‘How are we going to make 50 great movies? How is that possible?’ There’s no committee sufficiently big. There aren’t enough — you simply can’t do it.”

Affleck — who starred in Netflix’s 2019 dud “Triple Frontier” — emphasized that making movies “is a thing that requires attention and dedication and work, and it resists the form of assembly line process” that Netflix employs.

He praised Scott Stuber, Netflix’s head of original movies, as a “really talented, smart guy who I actually like… however it’s an unimaginable job.”

Ben Affleck has began his own movie studio with longtime collaborator Matt Damon.Getty Images

Affleck also promoted his latest production company with Matt Damon, Artists Equity, during Wednesday’s discussion. The “Gigli” star will function CEO, while Damon’s role is chief content officer. Affleck revealed the goal is to provide quality industrial fare that “people remember 20 years later.”

The studio’s debut project is a drama Affleck’s directing about Nike’s Hail Mary efforts to sign rising superstar Michael Jordan — a blockbuster deal that spawned the Air Jordan phenomenon.

Damon plays former Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro, who inked Jordan’s first sneaker deal. Affleck stars as Nike co-founder Phil Knight. Viola Davis, Jason Bateman, Chris Tucker and Marlon Wayans have signed on as well.

During Wednesday’s summit, Affleck also mused on the state of the movie industry and the cult of celebrity.

“On Netflix, the most important movies are Christmas, or these form of early aughts stars,” he opined. “That they had a level of awareness then that is far greater than your form of person on a TV show does now because there’s just a lot to see. There’s a variety of investment that’s gone into a variety of people my age, around that age.”

He then referenced his latest wife Jennifer Lopez, whose Netflix documentary, “Halftime,” dropped in June. She plays an assassin in “The Mother,” due out on Netflix in May.

“My wife, who’s 53, probably the most famous, admired, spectacular woman on the earth, there weren’t 53-year-old stars within the Nineteen Forties and ’50s. That was it. And there weren’t really for men [either],” Affleck said. “Paul Newman was form of old at 37. You examine Newman at 37, 38 they usually were like, ‘Well, as you progress into the sunset of your life, Paul, after ‘Towering Inferno’….”

He concluded: “And now individuals are far more aware of this group of individuals. They’ve kept that name recognition in a marketplace that’s so diffuse where it’s increasingly more and more helpful to give you the chance to draw eyeballs, to give you the chance to get attention, to give you the chance to get the patron to observe you.”

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