Netflix to acquire German visual effects studio behind ‘Stranger Things’ and more

Netflix is acquiring Munich-based visual effects studio Scanline VFX for an undisclosed amount. The company expects the deal to close in the first quarter of 2022, subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions. Scanline has done work on several Netflix originals, including “Stranger Things” and “Cowboy Bebop.” The studio has also provided special effects for many Marvel and DC titles.

Founded in 1989, Scanline has offices in Vancouver, Montreal, Los Angeles, London, Munich, Stuttgart and Seoul. For Netflix, Scanline has worked on “Stranger Things 4,” “Blood Red Sky,” “Slumberland,” “The Gray Man,” “The Adam Project” and ” Don’t Look Up.” Outside of Netflix, the studio has provided special effects for “Game of Thrones,” “Black Widow,” “Black Panther,” “Captain Marvel,” “Iron Man 3,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” “Joker” and more.

In terms of upcoming projects, Scanline is working on “The Batman,” “The Flash,” “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” “Black Adam” and “Moonfall.” Netflix says that going forward, Scanline will continue to operate as a standalone business and work with its current clients.

Netflix’s vice president of studio operations, Amy Reinhard, says Scanline is known for its complex, photorealistic effects and expertise in virtual production. In a blog post, Reinhard outlined that Netflix plans to invest in Scanline’s pipeline, infrastructure and workforce and “continue to support the work that Scanline’s Eyeline Studios is doing in virtual production to push the boundaries of what is visibly possible.”

“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,” Reinhard stated.

Netflix’s acquisition of Scanline comes amid the streaming giant’s push toward in-house production. In 2018, Netflix acquired Albuquerque Studios and announced last year that it planned to invest $1 billion in production spending to expand the studio and include an additional 300 acres to make it home to one of the largest studios. The proposed expansion and $150 million in capital expenditures will add 10 new stages, post-production services, mills, backlots and training facilities, wardrobe suites, a commissary and more.

The streaming giant’s latest acquisition comes as it recently purchased its first games studio, Night School Studio, in September for an undisclosed amount. The independent game developer is known for its narrative-driven titles like “Oxenfree” and was founded in 2014 by Sean Krankel, a former senior game designer at Disney Interactive, and Adam Hines, who was a lead writer at Telltale Games.