Amazon is coming for Hollywood. The online retailer's Amazon Studios company, which created the critically acclaimed TV series "Transparent," announced Monday its plans to make original movies to be shown in theaters and quickly released online. The first films will be developed in the coming months, CNN reported, and the company hopes to release about 12 a year.
"We look forward to expanding our production efforts into feature films," Amazon Studios vice president Roy Price said in a statement. "Not only will we bring Prime Instant Video customers exciting, unique and exclusive films soon after a movie’s theatrical run, but we hope this program will also benefit filmmakers, who too often struggle to mount fresh and daring stories that deserve an audience."
Amazon's timeline represents a major departure from traditional studios. It usually takes a little less than a year for a movie to become available on legal streaming services like Netflix, but Amazon Studios' films will move to Prime Instant Video within two months.
To take on these projects, the Associated Press reported the company will create a new unit called Amazon Original Movies. Its leader will be indie filmmaker Ted Hope, who founded the production company for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." Hope will seek out "top and up-and-coming creators," according to the AP.
"To help carry the torch into the feature film world for such an innovative company is a tremendous opportunity and responsibility," Hope said in a statement. "Amazon Original Movies will be synonymous with films that amaze, excite and move our fans, wherever customers watch. I am incredibly thrilled to be part of this."
Amazon Studios also announced last week a full order of the "Untitled Woody Allen Project," a TV series written and directed by the filmmaker.