Netflix announced over the weekend a deal that would diversify and strengthen their already powerful brand by commissioning seven brand-spanking new scripted shows, all with the intent of fortifying their relationship with its United Kingdom production branch in London. The Hollywood Reporter first reported this story.
This score of major talent for the streaming behemoth includes such renowned luminaries in filmmaking and writing as Sam Mendes, Rowan Atkinson (Blackadder), Joe Cornish (The Kid Who Would Be King), Sarah Dollard (A Discovery of Witches), Richard Gadd (Code 404), Sophie Petzal (Riviera), Barney Ronay (Any Chance of a Game?) and Jonathan Liew (Writer for the prestigious newspaper The Guardian). This diverse list of names is now on tap to deliver to Netflix in 2021 a variety of projects ranging from horror to romance.
“Setting up a team entirely based in the U.K. was always about being able to better connect to the fantastic program makers we have here,” Netflix’s vice president of U.K. original series Anne Mensah weighed in on this new feather in the streamer’s already crowded and colorful cap. “To provide a space for writers, producers, directors and actors that feels local, friendly and familiar but also provides talent the opportunity to make shows that will impact on a global scale. U.K.-made stories really do speak to the world.”
And just what are those seven new series from Netflix and its creators, Dear and Constant Readers?
Baby Reindeer from Richard Gadd: A true life yarn about writer Richard Gadd’s own personal stalker and the effect it had on him personally.
Cuckoo Song from Sarah Dollard Andrea Gibb and Corinna Faith: A horror story about two feuding sisters. The caveat to the story is that one sister is human while the other is decidedly not. The sister’s must band together to terminate a supernatural pact gone awry. By doing so, they may just patch up their own family fissures.
Half Bad by Joe Barton: The teenage son of an infamous witch is viewed with a more than suspicious eye by those who fret he may wind up like dear old dad. Think of it as Rosemary’s Baby Meets My Life as a Dog.
Lockwood by Joe Cornish: A ghost-hunting teenage trio unlock a mystery that will forever alter history as we know it.
Man vs Bee by Rowan Atkinson and Will Davies: Described as a “riotous comedy”, this tale lands us smack dab in the middle of one man’s private war with a bee during a housesitting gig at a palatial mansion. Cast William Katt (House) and I’m there!
The Red Zone by Barney Ronay and Jonathan Liew: A comedy about football that really has nothing to do with the sport. Confused? You shouldn’t be: In Ronay’s and Liew’s capable hands this is more of a deep-dive into the oddball culture of football.
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Sophie Petzal: Not to be confused with a long-lost episode of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone (which the title would have been right at home in) or even that eagerly awaited Hardcastle and McCormick reunion movie we’ve all been chomping at the bit for, this story is actually adapted from the critically lauded novel of the same name and is about a murder mystery on a vast and sprawling estate (is there really any other kind?) that – just as our protagonist comes close to piecing it all together – takes some very bizarre and altogether welcome turns.
No firm release dates for any of the above, but Vents – as always – will keep you posted on all new developments.