Chris Rock is set to return to the stage, and all for a very lofty sum.
The comedian has reportedly signed a $40 million contract with Netflix for two stand-up specials, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The specials will mark Rock’s return to stand-up after an eight-year absence.
The website reports the massive contract is rumored to be a record high for a stand-up comedian; $20 million per special is reportedly more than fellow comedians like Louis C.K., Jerry Seinfeld and Amy Schumer earn.
THR says the first special will begin taping in 2017 and follow Rock on a world tour that is currently being planned.
“Chris Rock is a beloved actor and director, and his remarkable stand-up makes him comic royalty. 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 chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement to THR.
According to THR, Netflix beat out various cable networks for the specials after going through a bidding war. Rock, who is seemingly ending his 20-year relationship with HBO, previously aired specials on the network, including “Bigger & Blacker” and “Never Scared.”
“Increasingly, Netflix is becoming the preeminent destination for stand-up comedy, partnering with top-tier talent across a wide variety of styles and humor, enabling them to bring their fresh, distinctive and hilarious voices to our members in 190 countries around the world,” Lisa Nishimura, VP of original documentary and comedy at Netflix, told THR. “Our members discover every day that we truly offer something for every comedy fan, and the comedians we partner with understand the power of having a direct line to our ever-growing global audience. Coming on the heels of our first Emmy win in the category, now is the perfect time to take things to the next level with Chris Rock.”
For his part, Rock told THR he’s excited to work with “all the good people at Netflix.”
“I can’t wait to get back on stage,” he said.