It’s safe to say that Netflix has changed the world of streaming forever, and not content with simply showing other studios’ offerings, they started making their own films and shows, giving chances to projects that may not have seen the light of day when offered to more risk-averse networks. Working this way, they have spawned hit after hit, becoming the powerhouse behind some of pop culture’s biggest hits.
So, here’s just a taste of Netflix’s 2018 offerings…
A Futile and Stupid Gesture
A comedy biopic, A Futile and Stupid Gesture is a film based on the rise and fall of the iconic National Lampoon. Starring Will Forte (Last Man Standing) as writer Doug Kenney, features many famous faces, playing other famous faces in a story about how National Lampoon started as a comedy magazine, became a media empire which changed the face of American comedy forever.
John Gemberling (Broad City) will play John Belushi, Seth Green (Family Guy) will be Christopher Guest and Jon Daly (Zoolander 2) will take on the role of Bill Murray. Perhaps the best casting is Joe McHale as Chevy Chase, a part which he’s had a lot of training for, starring alongside Chase in Community. David Wain, the director of Role Models and Wet Hot American Summer, will helm the project.
Based on the novel of the same name, this series imagines a world 500 years in the future, where death is no longer the end of life, as technology has advanced to the point where human consciousnesses can be downloaded into a new body, which allows the wealthy to live beyond their years.
Following Private Investigator Kovacs (played by both Will Yun Lee and Joel Kinnanman) who is reawoken in a new body, centuries after his death in order to solve the murder of a billionaire. Unlike many on the list, there’s a trailer and a release for this series, and rumours have stated that Altered Carbon is one of the most expensive shows Netflix has produced. The series comes to Netflix on February 2nd.
A period revenge thriller, Apostle marks the next project for The Raid’s Gareth Evans. Starring Dan Stevens (The Guest), Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex) and Lucy Boynton (Sing Street), the film, set in 1905, is about Thomas Richardson (Stevens), a man who travels to a remote island in search of his sister.
Discovering that she has been kidnapped by a mysterious cult, Richardson tears through them in order to retrieve his sibling. While Stevens has been clear to play down comparisons to The Raid movies, he has named Evans “the Welsh Tarantino” and stated that, while there is action, it won’t be as “relentless” as Evans’ previous works.
The Ballad of Bustier Scruggs
While the name doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence, this Western anthology series is directed by the Coen Brothers, and marks the first time that either brother has written or directed for television. As a Western, the production is firmly within the brothers’ wheelhouse, and so it should be a quality production.
Starring James Franco and Tim Blake Nelson, the series promises to tell six different stories about the Frontier. In a statement, Netflix were excited to bring the Coens on board, praising the brothers – however, in a joint statement of their own, the brothers had the much more brief response of “We are streaming motherf***ers!”
The inspiration behind Cargo has been around for about four years now – the Australian short, made for Tropfest 2013, featured a father infected by a zombie virus, who must find a safe place to take his infant daughter and has amassed an incredible 13.8 million views and counting. (Watch it here.)
Martin Freeman stars as the infected father who must traverse the apocalyptic outback in search for a safe haven. The movie has been produced by the people behind The Babadook and has all the potential to pack the same emotional punch that the short did – however, this could be a case of having too much of a good thing, stretching the plot to a point where you’re no longed invested. Either way, we can’t wait to see it.
Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist – New Seasons
The Defenders has come and gone, and now our heroes are back in their own shows. Jessica Jones returns for a second series which began filming straight after The Defenders, so this will no doubt be the first to show up on Netflix.
Luke Cage’s second season has recently wrapped, so the hard-hitting hero of Harlem is likely to follow. As for Iron Fist and Daredevil, they’re slated for vague release dates next year, but details of either are few and far between.
Horror series Diablero marks Netflix’s 50th original Latin American production, and based on F.G. Haghenbeck’s book El Diablo me obligo (The Devil Forced Me), this Spanish language series has an amazing concept.
Shot entirely in Mexico, the show centres around Father Ramiro Ventura, a fallen alcoholic priest who asks for help from a diablero – a demon hunter named Elvis Infante – and a “modern day superhero” named Nancy Gama. Together, the trio must fight for the fate of mankind, in this darkly comedic, supernatural battle between angels and demons slated for worldwide release sometime next year.
If you’re looking for something to fill the Futurama-shaped hole in your life, Netflix has you covered. Creator of The Simpsons and Futurama, Matt Groening’s newest project, Disenchantment, will hit the streaming service next year.
The animated series follows Bean (voiced by Abbi Jacobson), an alcoholic princess who lives in the crumbling kingdom of Dreamland, with her elf, Elfo (Nat Faxon), and “personal demon” Luci (Eric Andre). According to Groening, “Disenchantment will be about life and death, love and sex, and how to keep laughing in a world full of suffering and idiots, despite what the elders and wizards and other jerks tell you.”
Netflix has ordered 20 episodes, 10 of which will air next year.
Dogs of Berlin
The second of Netflix’s German co-productions, Dogs of Berlin is a gritty police drama about two officers with very different personalities, forced together when they’re involved in a heated territorial battle amongst Berlin’s criminal underworld.
Things aren’t as clear-cut as this, as the detectives are taken to their moral breaking points, questioning which side of the law they’re actually on. Director of Pandorum, Christian Alvart is at the helm, meaning that this could be a seriously gripping series.
Fear not – this has absolutely nothing to do with this year’s abysmal Emoji Movie, as Eggplant Emoji is certainly not a family film. A dark, R-rated comedy, the story revolves around a teenage boy who accidentally severs his penis while on a camping trip. Ouch.
After the incident, the teen and his friends face a race against time to get it reattached, and this insane plot started a bidding war between studios, with Netflix eventually winning. The film is co-production between the guys behind Workaholics and Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Films, so there is some real comedy weight behind it.
With Stranger Things doing everything it can to quench your thirst for ‘80s nostalgia, Everything Sucks! is here for your hazy ‘90s memories. Set in Oregon, in 1996, this series is about the clash of personalities between two high school societies – the A/V Club, and the Drama Club.
Creators Ben York Jones, and Michael Mohan, had some interesting thoughts on setting their show in this era, “Some of our favorite shows of all time —The Wonder Years, Happy Days, That 70s Show, Freaks and Geeks— looked back at bygone eras with 20 years of hindsight. […] We think this is a great time to take a look back at high school and relive the fashion, music, and attitudes of the mid-’90’s the way we remember it. Not sensationalized, not watered down; but desperate, heartfelt, awkward, and exciting.”
Game Over, Man!
In what is essentially Workaholics with a Netflix budget, this is the service’s first collaboration with Adam Devine, Blake Anderson, and Anders Holm (the second of which is Eggplant Emoji). The story is that our lead trio are game developers near to getting their video game financed when tragedy strikes, and their benefactor is taken hostage by terrorists.
The brief trailer doesn’t reveal much of the plot, however fans of Workaholics should enjoy Game Over, Man! as the projects share a lot of the same cast and crew. The film is scheduled for release on 4/20/2018 because they saw a chance and they took it.
Lost in Space
Netflix isn’t above following in the footsteps of other studios, and this much is shown in their announcement of a remake of classic ‘60’s sci-fi series, Lost in Space. The first season is set to drop in May next year, and includes a solid cast, including Toby Stephens as John Robinson, and Parker Posey as Dr. Smith.
The premise is simple – a family of space explorers are marooned on an unknown planet. There aren’t many details at the moment, but Stephens has promised a more “modern” take on proceedings. In an interview, he spoke highly of the original, but explained “If you look at it now, it’s charming, but it seems so innocent. Whereas this is a version that is for our time. I’m hoping it will still have humour and humanity in it, but it has obviously got to be for a modern audience.”
And no one is even mentioning the Matt LaBlanc remake.
This dark comedy has a couple of big names attached, as we see Jonah Hill and Emma Stone as two patients in a mental institution. Maniac will revolve around the rich fantasy lives that the pair create for themselves, and after their outing in Superbad together, we know that Stone and Hill have easy chemistry.
Cary Fukunaga, the mind behind the first season of True Detective and the box office smash IT remake, the series has all the potential to be a hit. While there’s no official pictures or trailers that have been released, there are a few pictures of the stars on set sporting some very…different looks.
This Netflix-exclusive sci-fi thriller sees Alexander Skarsgard playing a mute bartender named Leo, whose girlfriend goes missing. In order to find her, Leo must scour the futuristic city on immigrants in which he lives, coming across two American surgeons (played by Justin Theroux and Paul Rudd) who are described as “the only recurring clue” in his girlfriend’s disappearance.
A few images from the film have been released, and by the looks of it, Mute will be a visually stunning project, drawing heavy influence from films like Blade Runner and Casablanca, as this neo-noir seamlessly blends together a classic mystery story with a heavy sci-fi feel.
Continuing their European takeover, Osmosis is a collaboration with French Netflix, and a big budget remake of a French sci-fi of the same name. In a futuristic Paris, Osmosis, a new dating app has the ability to match people with a 100% success rate.
The catch, is that it dives deep into your brain, mining for all of your secrets and deepest desires – which forces people to question whether finding an algorithmically “perfect” soulmate is worth giving up your innermost thoughts to a faceless company. With an intriguing concept and a talented crew, this could be France’s answer to Netflix hits like Black Mirror.
‘Nordic Noir’ has become something of an international sensation in recent years, and Netflix is getting in on the game with The Rain, their first original Scandinavian production. A post-apocalyptic tale of two siblings making their way across a devastated Scandinavia, the population of which has almost entirely been wiped out by a deadly virus.
Series creator (and the mind behind Borgen) Jannik Tai Mosholt has said that, “In broad terms, The Rain is a story about hope and finding out what there is to hope for when all hope seems gone. It’s a story about responsibility and whether survival is about the individual or the group. It’s a story about humanity and what defines us as humans. And it’s a story about experiencing everything for the first time in a world where there’s no-one to tell you how to react. Love, hate, sadness, joy and hope.”
A Brazilian comedy that’s worth the search, Samantha! is the story of Samantha (obviously), a former child star of the ‘80s, who has fallen out of the limelight and is eager for another taste of fame.
She embarks on a number of ridiculous schemes to recapture fame, and rarely succeeds – and to make life more difficult, her former football star husband is released from prison after ten years. It may sound a little simple, but Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, spoke highly of the show, saying that Samantha! is the “kind of content that will spread Brazilian culture around the world.”
Stranger Things – Season 3
It was no surprise to see the renewal of one of pop culture’s biggest hits, attracting critical praise and many awards, as well as an incredible fanbase. There’s technically no release date for the show yet, but it’s more than probably that the third season will see release near the end of 2018, based on the gap between the first two instalments.
Little is known about what is coming in Season 3, however, what we have, you can read here.
Troy: Fall of a City
Netflix has teamed up with the BBC, on this big historical fantasy miniseries based on the events of the Trojan War. It comes from the writer of the acclaimed BBC series, The Night Manager, and features several episodes from Owen Harris, the man behind Black Mirror’s “San Junipero” episode.
The press release for Troy explains that the miniseries is “a rich story of love, intrigue, betrayal and belonging. Combining thrilling adventure with heart-breaking intimacy, it conveys the big themes of human existence and identity; of people battling to retain their sense of humanity and compassion amid the devastation and destruction of war.”
These are just some of the impressive original productions coming from Netflix in 2018 – and we can’t wait!