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Leonardo DiCaprio partners with Netflix for documentary projects

March 4, 2015, 11:14 PM UTC
Leonardo DiCaprio speaks at the opening of the United Nations Climate Summit 2014 September 23, 2014 at the United Nations in New York. AFP PHOTO/Don Emmert (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Don Emmert AFP—Getty Images

(REUTERS) — Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is the latest high-profile name to partner with Netflix Inc, as he and his production company Appian Way will produce a documentary and a series that will premiere exclusively on the digital streaming service, the company said on Wednesday.

DiCaprio, who worked with Netflix (NFLX) on the Oscar-nominated documentary “Virunga” about the Democratic Republic of Congo’s rare mountain gorillas, will act as a producer or executive producer for the projects that will focus on the environment and conservation.

“This partnership is a natural extension of our incredible relationship with Leo on ‘Virunga,'” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, said in a statement.

The deal with DiCaprio, 40, pushes Netflix, which produces the Emmy-winning political thriller “House of Cards” and the comedy-drama “Orange Is the New Black,” further into original programming in an effort to gain a larger audience.

DiCaprio, a best actor Oscar nominee for “The Wolf of Wall Street,” joins several stars who have entered deals with Netflix.

In October the company announced that comedian and actor Adam Sandler will star in and produce four films that will be shown exclusively on the service, which has more than 57 million members in 50 countries.

The company also completed a two-season order for “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” a comedy by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock that is due to premiere on Netflix this month.

Brothers Mark and Jay Duplass, best known for “Jeff, Who Lives at Home,” have also inked an agreement to make four films exclusively for the service. But they also have an option to show them in movie theaters first.