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Prince Harry news: Duke and Meghan’s Netflix deal ‘hinges on Heart of Invictus’ | Royal | News

Last week it was reported that Netflix saw a decline in the streaming service’s share price after the company missed its subscriber growth estimates. As a result of the move, Netflix axed several shows including a project created by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

The couple signed a deal with Netflix in September 2020 that saw them commit to creating content that “informs but also gives hope”.

In an announcement, the pair said they had two projects in the pipeline.

The first of which, titled Heart of Invictus, is a docuseries that follows competitors who took part in this year’s Invictus Games.

The sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women was launched by the Duke of Sussex in 2014.

This year the Games took place in The Hague after being postponed twice previously because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The second project was an animated series called Pearl following a 12-year-old girl who finds inspiration in a variety of influential women throughout history.

However, this was one of several programs axed by Netflix and there is speculation that further projects could also be on the chopping block if the financial struggles for the company continue.

Despite axing the show, Netflix said Archewell Productions remains a valued partner and they are continuing to work together on several projects.

However, concerns have been raised about the longevity of Meghan and Harry’s deal as no details have been given about other projects that may be in the pipeline.

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Baruch Labunski, an internet marketing expert and web consultancy CEO, claims Meghan and Harry’s deal with Netflix now rely on the performance of its upcoming documentary.

While no figure has been confirmed, the pair’s partnership is speculated to be worth around $100m (£72m).

The Sussexes said they want to produce documentaries, docuseries, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming, all of which aim to be “inspirational”.

Mr Labunski claims the recent financial struggles experienced by Netflix now mean the company is in a position to “put pressure” on the Sussexes to deliver.

The founder of Rank Secure – a web design and internet marketing firm – adds that the streaming service could make the couple “do things the Netflix way” rather than letting them have creative control.

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He told Express.co.uk: “The couple’s $100 million Netflix deal now depends on how well Harry’s project Heart of Invictus goes.

“The company is also in a good position to put pressure on the couple to do things the Netflix way rather than by their own standards.”

Pearl was scrapped alongside other offerings for younger audiences including the South Asian-inspired adventure Boons and Curses.

When announcing the project, which would see her teaming up with Elton John’s husband, David Furnish, Meghan said she was excited to work with the “powerhouse” platform and team up with “incredible producers”.

In a statement, the Duchess said: “Like many girls her age, our heroine Pearl is on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to overcome life’s daily challenges.”

She added: “I’m thrilled that Archewell Productions, partnered with the powerhouse platform of Netflix and these incredible producers, will together bring you this new animated series, which celebrates extraordinary women throughout history.

Film crews from Netflix followed the Duke and Duchess around The Hague last month for their Invictus Games documentary but no date has been given for its scheduled release on the streaming platform.

The news of the axed projects came after Netflix reported the loss of 200,000 subscribers in its first quarter.

The company had previously forecast that it would add 2.5 million subscribers to its ranks during this time.

As part of cost-cutting measures, the company also laid off staff from its marketing operation this week.

Job losses were particularly concentrated within the team working at Tudum, a website of stories that are meant to market Netflix’s programs.

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