Netflix has acquired Munich-based visual effects firm Scanline VFX, whose credits include Stranger Things 3, Game of Thrones and Godzilla vs Kong.

The acquisition marks the US streaming service’s first deal to take control of a major player in the special effects industry.

Scanline was founded in 1989 and is now led by Stephan Trojansky, a VFX Supervisor whose proprietary fluid rendering system Flowline won an Academy Award for Technical Achievement in 2008.

The company has offices in Vancouver, Montreal, Los Angeles, London, Munich, Stuttgart, and Seoul.

Scanline’s credits also include Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop and Blood Red Sky. Its upcoming in titles include Don’t Look Up, The Gray Man, Slumberland, The Adam Project and Stranger Things 4.

In a statement announcing the deal, Netflix VP of studio operations Amy Reinhard said: “Netflix will invest in Scanline’s pipeline, infrastructure and workforce and continue to support the pioneering work that Scanline’s Eyeline Studios is doing in virtual production to push the boundaries of what is visibly possible.:

The company will continue to operate as a standalone business and work with their variety of clients.

Reinhard added: “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.

The move comes weeks after Weta Digital, which has built characters and scenes for productions spanning Lord of the Rings to Avatar, sold its visual special effects technology arm to the US-based video game company Unity for $1.63bn (£1.22bn).

Jon Creamer

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