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Netflix Secures $8.8 Million Victory in Dispute Over Planned TV Show

In a high-profile dispute between Netflix and Hollywood director Carl Erik Rinsch over a science-fiction series that never made it to air, an arbitrator ruled in favor of the streaming giant, awarding them nearly $9 million in damages. The television show, “Conquest,” was sold to Netflix by Mr. Rinsch during the peak of the streaming boom in 2018, but he failed to deliver any episodes. This led Netflix to write off the $55 million it had invested in the project, highlighting a period of extravagant spending in Hollywood that studios are now looking to move past in favor of profitability over subscriber growth.

Netflix ultimately canceled the development of “Conquest” in early 2021 due to Mr. Rinsch’s erratic behavior. He made claims in texts and emails to Netflix executives, asserting that he had uncovered the secret transmission mechanism of Covid-19 and could predict natural disasters such as earthquakes and lightning strikes.

After being informed by Netflix that funding for “Conquest” would be halted, Mr. Rinsch embarked on a lavish spending spree with the remaining production funds. He lived in luxury at five-star hotels in California and Spain, while also purchasing a collection of luxury cars and high-end furniture. Despite his claims that the cars and furniture were intended as props for the show, arbitrator Rita Miller, a former Los Angeles Superior Court judge, concluded that none of these extravagant purchases were essential for production.

Mr. Rinsch initiated arbitration proceedings, alleging that Netflix had breached their contract and owed him a minimum of $14 million. However, Ms. Miller ruled in favor of Netflix, attributing the $8.78 million awarded to the company as the amount of production funds that Mr. Rinsch had squandered. Additionally, she granted Netflix control over the “Conquest” footage, which had been in the director’s possession until that point.

Despite the ruling, Mr. Rinsch did not provide any comments in response to requests for his perspective on the outcome of the arbitration.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIDEO_ID_HERE