After eight years away, Chris Rock is returning to stand-up. Netflix announced Thursday that Rock is teaming up with the streaming platform for a pair of fresh comedy specials as part of a $40 million deal, followed shortly by a world tour that's currently in the planning stages. The first special is scheduled to be taped next year.
"I'm very excited to be working with Ted and Lisa and all the good people at Netflix," Rock said in a press release. "I can't wait to get back on stage." As part of the deal, the Hollywood Reporter notes that Rock will be bagging a very nice $40 million, i.e. $20 million per special. By THR's estimates, that's enough to set a "new high mark" for stand-up comics and is "believed to be" higher than previously bragworthy paydays scored by Jerry Seinfeld, Amy Schumer, and others.
"Chris Rock is a beloved actor and director, and his remarkable stand-up makes him comic royalty," Ted Sarandos, Netflix CCO, said Thursday. "There is no one like him, and Netflix offers the global platform and creative freedom that will serve as a perfect home for someone with his incredible talent." Netflix is already the cozy home of well-received specials from Aziz Ansari, Patton Oswalt, David Cross, and many more.
Rock has been plenty busy in the years since his impressive stand-up run, including writing and directing the underrated Top Five in 2014. Rock also starred in the film, which told the story of a famous comedian who tries to make a transition into serious acting while coming to terms with the reality TV desires of his soon-to-be wife:
What I'm saying is: peep that movie if you missed it back in 2014. Worth your time.