Netflix has acquired visual effects company Scanline VFX, a Berlin-based 3D VFX house that has worked on more than 100 films including the Academy Award-nominated “Passengers,” and “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” Netflix, which has been on a rapid expansion over the past few years, declined to offer terms of the deal, which was first reported by Variety.
Scanline, co-founded by Uwe Muth and Fabian Wagner in 2009, has expanded from its original focus on computer-generated animation (CGI) to produce visual effects for commercials, television and movies.
“The world is watching and we want to help drive the content experience for Netflix,” Scanline VFX said in a statement on its website. “We see an opportunity to partner with a content powerhouse such as Netflix by developing technologies and tools for the overall production team to create amazing content.”
The company, which won Oscars for its work on the James Bond film “Spectre” and “Justice League,” has recently turned its focus to more visually immersive projects, including “Blade Runner 2049,” “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and “Thor: Ragnarok.”
“We think that there are some amazing opportunities to continue to collaborate with Scanline on the state-of-the-art projects that we’ve created together over the past five years,” Netflix said in a statement.
Scanline was born in Nuremberg, Germany, during the waning years of the Cold War, when the country was learning to communicate with the outside world. It ultimately grew out of the Design Center for Interactive and Visual Effects, which later became the visual effects studio 2D Berlin, and was renamed in 2007. The company was most recently led by the company’s president and CEO Muth.
“We’re excited that we’ll be continuing our endeavors and that we’ll be working with the team at Netflix,” Muth said in a statement. “Netflix has driven some of the most boundary-pushing media of our time, and we want to be a part of that.”
Over the past few years, Netflix has hired a handful of high-profile visual effects producers and worked with Illumination’s Chris Meledandri to build its own global pipeline of content. With Scanline, the streaming giant has now built a functioning (if ever-evolving) cutting-edge VFX studio of its own in Germany, allowing it to reduce the cost of its global expansion while still fulfilling its mission to “bring high-quality video entertainment directly to Netflix members around the world.”