Samuel Brace on which series might be the next big hit for Netflix…
Netflix has got pretty good at this original series thing. Over the past number of years the streaming service has cranked out some truly tremendous TV series that are exclusive to their platform, helping to revolutionise the TV landscape in the process. From the show that started it all, House of Cards, to recent smash hit Stranger Things, Netflix are making users’ subscription fees go a long way. Of course, they can’t stand still, or rely on the past to keep them successful in the future. They need to continue making new content, reviving old concepts, and bringing exciting new products to the screens of audiences around the world. But what will be the next Stranger Things? Is there anything on the horizon that has a chance of capturing a fraction of that show’s popularity? What are the upcoming series in the Netflix slate that have a chance of breaking through to the wider culture? Let’s take a look at some of the prospects.
Probably the only guaranteed success on the horizon is Marvel’s The Punisher, another entry in the ever-growing Netflix MCU. While there have been a few misses in recent times with Iron Fist and The Defenders, there is every chance that things will get back on track with their next effort. Punisher was many fans’ favourite aspect of Daredevil season 2, thanks in large part to Jon Bernthal’s eminently watchable tour de force performance as Frank Castle. The Punisher is also likely to be much more grounded than past Netflix Marvel series, and should deliver a dark, gritty, and emotionally violent set of episodes upon its TBA release (likely October). Will it break through to those beyond the traditional Marvel crowd? That is unknown, but if any Marvel Netflix product has a chance, it’s certainly this one.
A more unknown quantity comes in the shape of the October 13th release Mindhunter. This dark thriller based on the book ‘Mind Hunter: Inside The FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit’ has already been renewed for a second season by Netflix so they at least have faith in the product. The series is set in 1979 and centres on the exploits of two FBI agents who are tasked with interviewing imprisoned serial killers in order to gain insight into the minds of likeminded individuals, helping them solve ongoing cases. The trailers released for Mindhunter possess a dark, creepy, psychological atmosphere – unsurprising as filmmaker David Fincher is directing four of season 1’s ten episodes. If Mindhunter resembles the level of mystery and intrigue of Fincher’s past work, we could be in for something quite special indeed.
Much further down the road we have the fascinating project known as Maniac, a dark-comedy created by True Detective season 1’s Cary Fukunaga. Maniac has no firm release date beyond that of a 2018 window but from the sounds of things this could be one to look out for. Starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, this ten episode series is based on a 2014 Norwegian show created by Espen PA Lervaag and Håkon Bast Mossige, and revolves around the fantasy worlds of two mental institution patients. Also featuring the likes of Justin Theroux, Maniac seems to have all the ingredients to be the next big thing on Netflix, likely providing a surreal and fantastical adventure for fans to get lost in over a yet to be determined weekend. Keep your eyes peeled for whenever this one lands.
Lost in Space
The offering that has perhaps the most potential of any announced Netflix series is a revival of the much beloved 1965 series Lost in Space. Set for ten one hour episodes, arriving in May 2018, Lost in Space will be the most expensive series ever made, per episode, with a whopping 10-14 million dollars allocated for each instalment. Money doesn’t guarantee success, but it shows Netflix are throwing everything they can at this sci-fi adventure. Lost in Space tells the tale of the Robinson family, who, on their way to help colonise a new world, pass through a tear in space-time becoming… lost in space. Holding a dear place in the hearts of many older viewers, this series will likely pull in from quite a large pool of potential audience members, and could certainly become the next big thing that Netflix has to offer.