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Netflix Awarded $8.8 Million in Dispute Over Unfinished TV Series


An arbitrator sided with Netflix in a notable dispute with Hollywood director Carl Erik Rinsch concerning a sci-fi series that was never completed, awarding Netflix nearly $9 million in damages.

Rinsch had sold the show "Conquest" to Netflix during the peak of the streaming boom in 2018 but failed to deliver any episodes. Consequently, Netflix wrote off the $55 million invested in the project, which became emblematic of the excessive spending Hollywood studios are now trying to curb as they prioritize profits over merely gaining subscribers.

Netflix terminated the "Conquest" project in early 2021 due to Rinsch's erratic behavior. He sent messages to Netflix executives claiming to have discovered Covid-19’s secret transmission mechanism and told his wife, a producer on the show, that he could predict natural phenomena like earthquakes and lightning.

After Netflix decided to halt funding, Rinsch spent the remaining production money on personal luxuries, including stays at five-star hotels in California and Spain, and purchases of luxury cars and high-end furniture, which he claimed were show props. However, the arbitrator, Rita Miller, a former Los Angeles Superior Court judge, ruled that these purchases were unnecessary for the production, as stated in her ruling reviewed by The New York Times.

Rinsch initiated arbitration, accusing Netflix of breaching their contract and seeking at least $14 million in damages. 

However, Miller determined that Rinsch was responsible for the issue. She awarded Netflix $8.78 million, equivalent to the production money Rinsch misused, and granted Netflix control over the "Conquest" footage, which Rinsch had retained.

Journalist and professional writer since 2011 Graduate of the Workers University Department of Quality Control Member of the International Journalists Organization Media consultant He writes in the fields of entertainment, art, science, technology and politics (Chief Editor of the Middle East - Topics of Art and Society)