Netflix is to acquire visual effects firm Scanline VFX, whose credits include Stranger Things 3, Game of Thrones and Godzilla vs Kong.
Munich-based Scanline was founded in 1989 and is led by Stephan Trojansky, a VFX supervisor whose proprietary fluid rendering system Flowline won an Academy Award for Technical Achievement in 2008.
The acquisition is the first time that Netflix has taken control of a major player in the special effects industry.
In a statement announcing the deal, Netflix VP of studio operations Amy Reinhard said: “From the interstellar landscape of Cowboy Bebop and the ravenous vampires of Blood Red Sky to the exploding underground reactor in Stranger Things 3, we want to surprise and delight our members by pushing the boundaries of visual effects.”
Scanline has offices in Vancouver, Montreal, Los Angeles, London, Munich, Stuttgart, and Seoul.
Scanline’s credits also include Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop and Blood Red Sky. Its upcoming in titles include Don’t Look Up, The Gray Man, Slumberland, The Adam Project and Stranger Things 4.
A well as vfx, Scanline works in the burgeoning field of virtual production.
Reinhard added: “Netflix will invest in Scanline’s pipeline, infrastructure and workforce and continue to support the pioneering work that Scanline’s Eyeline Studios is doing in virtual production to push the boundaries of what is visibly possible.”
The company will continue to operate as a standalone business and work with their variety of clients.
Reinhard said: “We’ll also continue to rely on many other studios around the world for our VFX needs so we can continue to ensure that our creators have access to the world’s most innovative tech, and continue to bring the most compelling and cutting-edge storytelling to our members.
Netflix said it expected to close the transaction in the first quarter of 2022.
The move comes weeks after Weta Digital, whose credits span Lord of the Rings to Avatar, sold its visual special effects technology arm to the US-based video game company Unity for $1.63bn.