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How Taylor Swift Ended Up at Searchlight

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift at the 2022 MTV VMAs. Photo: Cindy Ord/WireImage
Matthew Belloni
December 11, 2022

I guess it was inevitable that Taylor Swift, who has been directing or co-directing her music videos since back in 2010, would try her hand at a feature. What might be a bit more surprising is that her untitled debut was announced this week by Searchlight, Disney’s arthouse label, and not Netflix, Amazon, Apple or even Searchlight sibling Disney+, which likely would have thrown tens of millions of dollars at a star this gigantic. After all, a Swift-directed movie—even if it’s terrible, and even if executives have to wait a year for her shoot after her 2023 tour—will eventually be marketed by T-Swift herself and gobbled up by the Swifties, making it a hot commodity for any well-funded streamer. But behind the scenes, the Searchlight move makes perfect sense.