Harry’s Invictus documentary snub to Netflix chiefs: Disney-owned rival Hulu screens Duke’s one-off film where he talks about family – despite his five-year $100m contract with Netflix

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • The show, called Prince Harry’s Mission: Life, Family and the Invictus Games, is based on a series of interviews from the 2023 games
  • A source at Netflix appeared to be taken aback by the news when contacted

Prince Harry’s Invictus Games documentary has started screening on streaming channel Hulu – in what appears to be a slap in the face for rival Netflix, where he has a five-year deal.

An unannounced one-off show, in which the Duke of Sussex talks about his family and his devotion to the Games, began streaming on Disney-owned Hulu yesterday.

Called Prince Harry’s Mission: Life, Family And The Invictus Games, it is based on interviews given by Harry to ABC News in Canada this month. It includes his appearance on Good Morning America on February 16 when he says he was glad to have flown to the UK to be by King Charles’ side after his cancer diagnosis.

A senior source at Netflix said that Harry and wife Meghan remain under a contract with them, but appeared to be taken by surprise by the news.

A senior TV news producer tells me Harry will have had to know about the use of the interview and will have had to sign a release form to allow ABC to make it into a documentary for Hulu.

Speculation about the status of Harry and Meghan’s relationship with Netflix has reached fever pitch after they relaunched their business and charitable ventures under a new Sussex.com website – but it failed to mention the streaming channel by name in the Archewell productions section.

An unannounced one-off ‘special’ featuring Prince Harry began streaming on Hulu Sunday – in an apparent slap in the face for rival streamer Netflix, where he has a five year deal

Called Prince Harry¿s Mission: Life, Family and the Invictus Games, the show is based on interviews given by Harry to ABC News when he was in Whistler, Canada , promoting the games. The couple are pictured on February 14, 2024

Called Prince Harry’s Mission: Life, Family and the Invictus Games, the show is based on interviews given by Harry to ABC News when he was in Whistler, Canada , promoting the games. The couple are pictured on February 14, 2024

Sources have told this newspaper there is dissatisfaction on both sides over the Netflix deal, signed in late 2020. Although it was reported to be worth $100million, Netflix is said to simply be covering the overheads of the production company Archewell to the tune of around $3million and further income is dependent on the couple delivering projects.

So far, they have delivered the blockbuster documentary titled Harry & Meghan, plus a film about Invictus and its work called Heart of Invictus. A film adaptation of the romance novel Meet Me At The Lake is planned – though there is no script yet and its not clear if the couple have settled on a writer.

Other projects including a TV show and another documentary were said by Netflix executive Bela Bajaria to be in the ‘early early stages’ of development.

It’s thought that Harry and Meghan may have only received around $20million from the streamer so far, all told, with one source saying that the Netflix deal is essentially a dead duck.

Representatives for Netflix have been contacted for comment.

In the documentary, Prince Harry talks about his family and how important the Invictus Games are to him

In the documentary, Prince Harry talks about his family and how important the Invictus Games are to him

A senior source at Netflix said that he and wife Meghan remain under a contract with them

A senior source at Netflix said that he and wife Meghan remain under a contract with them

Earlier this month, Harry and Meghan travelled to Whistler, Canada, where the 2023 Invictus Games, for wounded servicemen and women, will be held.

In an interview with Will Reeve for ABC News, which is replayed in the Hulu special, Harry said that he quickly made plans to see his father as soon as he learned that the King has cancer.

He said: ‘I jumped on a plane and went to go see him as soon as I could. Look, I love my family. The fact that I was able to get on a plane and go and see him and spend any time with him, I’m grateful for that.’

Sources say there is dissatisfaction on both sides over the Netflix deal, which was signed in late 2020

Sources say there is dissatisfaction on both sides over the Netflix deal, which was signed in late 2020

Although it was reported to be worth $100 million, the streamer is said to simply be covering the overheads of the production company Archewell to the tune of around $3 million, with further income depending on the couple delivering projects

Although it was reported to be worth $100 million, the streamer is said to simply be covering the overheads of the production company Archewell to the tune of around $3 million, with further income depending on the couple delivering projects

Harry, 39, declined to comment further on his father’s diagnosis, added that he hopes to see Charles again soon, saying, ‘I’ve got other trips planned that will take me through the U.K., or back to the U.K., and so I’ll stop in and see my family as much as I can.’

The duke had not seen his 75-year-old father since the Coronation last May. The visit lasted for around half an hour before King Charles and Queen Camilla left for Sandringham, in Norfolk. Harry stayed overnight in an hotel before leaving for California where he now lives.

When asked about the possibility of Charles’ illness having a reunifying effect on his own family, Harry replied, ‘Yeah, I’m sure,’ and reflected on what he has seen firsthand among the families of Invictus athletes.

‘Throughout all of these families, I see it on a day-to-day basis,- again, the strength of the family unit coming together,’ Harry said. ‘So, yeah, I think any illness, any sickness, brings families together. I see it time and time again, and that makes me very happy.’

The Invictus Games were launched in 2014. They are modelled on the Warrior Games, an annual event organized by the US Department of Defense, which Harry attended in 2013.

The first games were in London in 2014 and have taken place since then in Orlando, Toronto, Sydney, Dusseldorf and The Hague.

He spoke with the ABC Team at the One Year to Go Events. It will be the first time that the competition has included winter sports.

In addition to the traditional lineup of sports like indoor rowing, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby, the Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler will include alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, skeleton and wheelchair curling.

More than 500 competitors from over two dozen nations are expected to compete during the Games, held from February 8 to 16, 2025.

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