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  1. A rare look at Netflix’s viewing data Asa Mathat During this year’s Code conference, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos shared a significant haul of data about some of the streaming giant’s top titles — a rare move for a company that traditionally holds numbers close to the chest. In one slide, shared while Sarandos was speaking on the Code stage with Kara Swisher, Netflix shared numbers about how many accounts viewed its top 10 films and series based on the number of accounts that watched at least two minutes of the title during the first 28 days it was on Netflix. The first season of Bridgerton led its top series list with 82 million accounts having viewed the title, followed by part one of Lupin and The Witcher, with 76 million accounts having watched each. Extraction led its top films list with 99 million accounts, followed by Bird Box with 89 million accounts and Spenser Confidential with 85 million. Image: Code 2021 A second slide ranked Netflix’s top 10 films and series based on their total viewed hours during their first 28 days on the service. Bridgerton still topped its series list with a whopping 625 million hours viewed. The fourth installment of Money Heist followed with 619 million, followed by the third season of Stranger Things with 582 million hours of viewing. Bird Box led its list for most popular films based on the metric, with 282 million hours viewed. Extraction swooped into second place with 231 million hours viewed, while The Irishman took third with 215 million viewing hours. “We’re trying to be more transparent with the market and talent and everybody,” Sarandos said. “It’s a big black box for everybody.” Image: Code 2021 The decision to share the figure comes at a key moment for creatives and talent in streaming. Services across the board have traditionally offered limited information about how titles perform on their platforms, an issue that’s become a point of frustration in a rapidly changing entertainment space that’s seen even highly anticipated titles meant for theaters instead head straight to streaming services — or debut as hybrid releases. But the numbers also show that there are many ways to define a “hit.” Netflix’s data was tracked by total hours of viewing and the length of time viewers spent watching a title during its first month on the service. Talent and production companies, however, might be more interested in the number of times a title was viewed start to finish, or how many total people — not just accounts — are watching their shows. Ultimately, without a unified standard among services for what those metrics for success look like, streamers are still very much playing by their own individual rules. Netflix reveals how many accounts are actually watching its top titles
  2. And a second anime film and a kids series Geralt in The Witcher. Image: Netflix At its big Tudum event, Netflix confirmed that it will make a third season of The Witcher. No other details were shared, so we don’t know when we might expect it just yet. Netflix also said that it would continue to expand The Witcher with a second anime film and, surprisingly, a series designed for kids and families. The announcements further expand Netflix’s ever-growing slate of Witcher content. At the event, Netflix also shared new clips from the second season ahead of its December 17th premiere and a behind-the-scenes look at The Witcher: Blood Origin, the upcoming live-action prequel series. The new content joins the first anime spinoff, The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, released in August, and the hugely popular first season of The Witcher. The shows might also keep renewed interest in the hit game series, which could have a big moment of its own sometime soon: a next-gen upgrade for The Witcher 3 is in the works, with developer CD Projekt Red targeting a late 2021 release date. Netflix confirms there will be a third season of The Witcher
  3. Some good looks at Geralt and friends ahead of season 2 There was a lot of Geralt of Rivia at Netflix’s Tudum event. The upcoming second season of The Witcher was a major presence at the streamer’s big showcase; fans were able to check out a pair of very short teasers, that gave a good look at what life is like on the Continent, and what we can expect from Ciri in particular. Additionally, we got a first glimpse at the prequel series Blood Origin with a behind-the-scenes tour of the set, and a trailer to catch fans up on a season 1 — which also has some new footage from the upcoming season. The first season of the show debuted in 2019 and became a huge hit for Netflix, with the company claiming it was its most-watched first season of television. A second season was inevitable — we got the first proper trailer for it in July — but Netflix is also turning the world of Geralt into a big franchise. That includes two prequels: an anime movie and a live-action series starring Michelle Yeoh. Season 2 of The Witcher is slated to hit Netflix on December 17th — and the streamer has confirmed that it will be back for a third season as well. The Witcher season 2 gets a few new trailers
  4. An end of the world story with an all-star cast At its big Tudum event, Netflix showed off a nice, two-minute-long look at one of its most exciting upcoming movies: Don’t Look Up. Don’t Look Up is one of the more interesting films in Netflix’s slate, a story about astronomers trying to save the world from an impending asteroid collision. it also happens to have a stellar cast. Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence play the aforementioned astronomers, while Meryl Streep is the president, Jonah Hill is her chief of staff, and the rest of the lineup includes Ron Perlman, Timothée Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Kid Cudi, Cate Blanchett, and Tyler Perry. Adam McKay is writer and director. Don’t Look Up is due to hit Netflix on December 24th but will be in select theaters before that on December 10th. Watch an all-new clip of Netflix’s Don’t Look Up
  5. A brief taste We’ve still only caught glimpses of Netflix’s upcoming live-action take on Cowboy Bebop, and today delivers yet another tease: a kinetic opening title sequence for the show. It’s not quite a proper trailer (which we’re still waiting on), but it does give a good sense of the vibe the series is going for. The Netflix adaptation stars John Cho as Spike Spiegel, Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black, and Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine, and last month we got our first proper look at the cast — and Spike’s hair — thanks to a series of photos. It’s been a long time coming, as news of the adaptation was first revealed in 2018, with the cast announced a year later. Earlier this year, Netflix confirmed that Yoko Kanno, the original composer, was on board. Chances are a full trailer isn’t far off, though, as the series is set to debut on November 19th. In the meantime, here are a few more photos. Watch the opening title sequence for Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop series
  6. The show will be released in three weekly ‘acts’ Netflix has released a new trailer for Arcane, its upcoming series based on the League of Legends universe, and also revealed when the show will premiere: November 6th. But you won’t be able to watch all of Arcane on that day, as Netflix plans to release the season in three separate “acts,” each consisting of three episodes released one week after the last. That means the first act will be out on November 6th, the next will release on November 13th, and the final one will premiere on November 20th. Arcane was first announced in 2019, though League of Legends developer Riot Games delayed the series to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, the news broke that Netflix had picked up the show and that it would debut in the fall. Earlier this week, Netflix and Riot revealed some of Arcane’s voice cast. That list is headlined by Hailee Steinfeld, who you might recognize as Emily Dickinson in Apple TV Plus’ Dickinson and Kate Bishop in the upcoming in Disney Plus series Hawkeye. In Arcane, Steinfeld will be playing Vi, one of League of Legends’ playable champions. Arcane is Riot’s latest expansion of the League of Legends franchise, which includes a mobile spinoff, a board game, and comic books. It’s also the latest video game series to appear on Netflix, joining other franchises like The Witcher and Pokémon. Netflix’s new trailer for Arcane, its upcoming League of Legends series, reveals November 6th premiere date
  7. It was shown at Netflix’s Tudum event Netflix debuted a video from its upcoming series based on Neil Gaiman’s DC comic book series The Sandman. The video was brief, but it gave us a good glimpse at actor Tom Sturridge as Dream. The video was shown during Netflix’s Tudum event that took place Saturday. The show also also featured Gaiman, Sturridge, and Kirby Howell-Baptiste (who plays Death) talking about the series. If you want to get another preview of what to expect from the series, check out the character posters Netflix shared for Sturridge’s Dream, Howell-Baptiste’s Death, and Mason Alexander Park’s Desire in a Twitter thread. The Sandman has been in development for years, with Netflix picking up the show in 2019 in a deal with Warner Bros., which owns DC Entertainment, that was reportedly “massive.” Earlier this year, Netflix announced some of the cast for the show, which also includes Vivienne Acheampong as Lucienne and Gwendoline Christie (known for playing Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones and Captain Phasma in Star Wars) as Lucifer. The Sandman is just the latest show based on Gaiman’s work. Amazon adapted Good Omens for Amazon Prime Video, and the show was successful enough that the company opted to pick it up for a second season. Starz made three seasons of American Gods, the last of which debuted in January. Netflix debuts video from its adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman
  8. Two Netflix movie screeners appeared online a few hours ago, way ahead of their planned release date. Pirate release group EVO published advance copies of 'The Power of the Dog' and 'The Guilty,' which subsequently leaked online. The releases are not typical award screeners but appear to be film festival screeners instead. Pirated copies of movies leak all year round, usually after they come out on streaming services or through digital release. That by itself is nothing special. Screener releases are a notable exception to this rule. These are advance copies of recent movies that are generally sent out to critics and awards voters. The screeners are supposed to remain private but every year a few end up in the hands of pirates. These leaked copies are then published online, sometimes months ahead of their official release dates. ‘The Power of the Dog’ Screener That’s exactly what happened to two Netflix titles over the past hours. While ‘screener season’ usually starts around December, a leaked copy of the Netflix movie “The Power of the Dog” was published on Sunday. The film, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst, is officially scheduled to copes on December 1st. However, over the past few hours, tens of thousands of pirates already grabbed an early copy. The leak was published by the pirate release group EVO, which also released the first screeners last year. The source is an online screener, which has become the new standard in recent years. The release is tagged as a ‘WEBSCREENER’ which confirms that the copy was obtained from a screener copy made available over the Internet. While some had hoped that these online releases would be easier to secure, the current leak clearly shows that there are weak spots. The.Power.of.the.Dog.2021.WEBSCREENER.XviD.AC3-EVO TorrentFreak contacted EVO to found out more about the source for this screener, but the group said that it can’t say anything about the ‘festival’ it’s connected to due to security reasons. ‘The Guilty’ Screener The release group did mention, however, that another movie would be leaked soon. And indeed, after a few hours, another prominent Netflix screener was posted online. This time it’s the Jake Gyllenhaal film “The Guilty.” The.Guilty.2021.WEBSCREENER.XviD.AC3-EVO has since been republished on various pirate sites. The movie officially premieres in early October, which means that pirates can see it earlier than paying subscribers. These screeners appear to be too early for the Academy Awards. And since EVO suggested that the leaks are sourced from festival screeners, we have to look elsewhere. Film Festival Interestingly, both “The Power of The Dog” and “The Guilty” are in the screener lineup of the annual Vancouver International Film Festival (TIFF). This festival started last Thursday and is currently ongoing. Like many other festivals, TIFF hosts both in-person and online screenings. The latter has become increasingly common during the COVID pandemic. While we can’t know for sure where these leaks come from, it’s pretty clear that screeners can still leak when festivals and award shows move to digital screeners only, which is the case for the Oscars as well. “Let’s hope the season starts,” EVO told us, referring to the traditional ‘pirate screener season.’ However, the group didn’t say whether more films are expected to leak anytime soon. Netflix Movie Screeners Leak on Pirate Sites Before Official Premiere
  9. Images show star John Cho in Spike Spiegel's iconic purple suit. The core cast of Cowboy Bebop. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. Netflix has announced that its long-delayed, live-action adaptation of the influential and popular classic anime series Cowboy Bebop will premiere on Friday, November 19. The streaming service also released the first images from the show, giving fans some sense of what to expect from a live-action series based on an animated one famous for its visual flair. The images show actor John Cho (Star Trek, Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle) as the series' lead character, Spike Spiegel. The series will also star Alex Hassell (Suburbicon), Daniella Pineda (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), and Mustafa Shakir (Luke Cage), among others. André Nemec will be the series showrunner. He previously worked as a writer and producer on sci-fi TV series Alias and Zoo, plus the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. The director of the original anime series, Shinichirō Watanabe, is a consultant for the new show. Also returning from the anime is score composer Yoko Kanno. Cowboy Bebop originally premiered in 1998. It is a space western about a group of bounty hunters on a spaceship called the Bebop. It drew critical acclaim and became a cult hit thanks in part to its striking visual style and its strong thematic elements. This live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop was first announced nearly three years ago, but its road to completion has been troubled. Yes, there's the usual pandemic angle to that, but production was also delayed for several months after Cho suffered an injury on-set, which required him to fly from the show's shooting location in New Zealand to Los Angeles for surgery. Production for the season finally wrapped in March of this year. Other new Netflix series and films announced for later this year include new seasons of The Witcher and Lucifer, the Nic Pizzolatto-written US adaptation of The Guilty, and a new My Little Pony TV series. Listing image by Netflix Netflix reveals premiere date, first images for live-action Cowboy Bebop series (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  10. We tweet, we like, and we share— but what are the consequences of our growing dependence on social media? As digital platforms increasingly become a lifeline to stay connected, Silicon Valley insiders reveal how social media is reprogramming civilization by exposing what’s hiding on the other side of your screen. Available on YouTube until September 30th.
  11. Netflix's new "VPN" block policies can catch innocent users in the crossfire. Netflix blocks known commercial VPNs and proxies from accessing its services in order to preserve its geofencing—partitioning access to content based on a user's real-world location. Users who connect to a commercial VPN or proxy provider endpoint in another country can access content licensed for viewing in the endpoint country—but not in the viewer's own. Recently, as reported by TorrentFreak, Netflix began including putatively residential IP subnets in its blocklists. Cat and mouse Since Netflix first began blocking commercial VPN and proxy providers in 2015, those services have fought back by finding ways to evade its and other streaming services' blocking attempts. The simplest way is just to discard an existing subnet that's been widely identified as "VPN/proxy" and purchase another, "clean" space. This move can buy a blocklist evader a few days or even weeks before the new subnet is added to the list. This basic conflict between VPN providers eager to keep region-shifting customers happy and streaming services trying to keep content licensers pacified led to a six-year-long cat-and-mouse game. Both sides are pretty cagey about the technical details, but one technique the VPN providers use is leasing IP addresses in supposedly "residential" IP subnets to use as exit proxies. One commercial VPN provider told TorrentFreak that recently, Netflix began blocking those "residential" proxy addresses as well—with some readily apparent collateral damage. "You have hundreds of thousands of legitimate residential Netflix subscribers blocked," WeVPN's spokesperson said. Scope of damage Falling afoul of Netflix's VPN block doesn't hurt quite as badly these days as it did in 2015. Instead of an outright ban on devices coming from a blocked IP address, the service now somewhat selectively removes access to region-locked content. If you want to watch Netflix originals across a VPN, you can do so whether your endpoint is on the service's blocklist or not, but region-locked content will be hidden from view, neither browsable nor playable. A clever user who tries to access hidden content using a deep link directly to that content gets a "Pardon the interruption" error dialog asking the user to turn off VPNs and proxies instead. Although WeVPN claims "hundreds of thousands of users" who don't use VPNs or proxies have been caught in the crossfire, the real numbers aren't yet clear. Some Redditors report "missing content" when accessed over Wi-Fi, with the same content showing up again on mobile data. This situation corresponds to Netflix's current VPN blocklist policies. A similar user report on Twitter got an odd response from Netflix pointing the finger right back at the user's ISP: Some tech-savvy Netflix users have reported working around the false-block issue by releasing their public IP address and getting a new one—but that approach only helps if you know what you're doing, your ISP issues DHCP addresses, and the lease on those addresses is relatively short. We aren't very optimistic about outcomes for customers who don't meet all those criteria and are stuck calling into ISP support departments not primed for this sort of call. Netflix is adding residential IP addresses to its VPN blocklists
  12. Netflix has stepped up its efforts to ban VPN and proxy users from bypassing geographical restrictions. The streaming service is now blocking residential IP addresses too, since some unblocking tools use these to bypass restrictions. This isn't without collateral damage as many regular Internet users without a VPN now report "missing content" on Netflix. Six years ago, Netflix started blocking customers who tried to access its service over a commercial VPN or proxy service. These changes came after copyright holders repeatedly complained that ‘pirates’ were bypassing Netflix’s geographical restrictions. The VPN ban caused a lot of frustration for legitimate VPN users, many of whom had no intention of breaking any rules. At the same time, the VPN ‘pirates’ found workarounds by picking services that actively bypass Netflix’s restrictions. Bypassing Restrictions There are various ways VPN services have managed to circumvent these blocking efforts. Most keep the technical details private, but it’s commonly known that some are using residential IP-addresses as proxies, to make it look like VPN users are regular ISP subscribers. This cat and mouse game has caused quite a bit of frustration at Netflix headquarters and, over the past few days, the company appears to have intensified its blocking measures. There is a flurry of complaints on social media from users whose VPN services were suddenly ‘blocked’ by Netflix. Previously, these people couldn’t play any content while using a VPN. That changed last year. Now, VPN users can still see Netflix originals while other content is hidden and blocked. People who try to access blocked titles directly through a saved URL will see Netflix’s dreaded proxy/VPN error message instead. Netflix Bans Residential IP-Addresses Netflix doesn’t explain which IP addresses are blocked and why, but the most recent efforts are much broader than before. This issue was brought to our attention by WeVPN, which noticed that the updated geo-fencing system is blocking its residential IP addresses. These IP addresses are assigned to common consumer ISPs such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon. While it makes sense for Netflix to put an end to these workarounds, there appears to be some collateral damage. “The collateral damage is that you have hundreds of thousands of legitimate residential Netflix subscribers blocked from accessing Netflix’s local country full catalog from their home,” a WeVPN spokesperson informs us. While we are unable to verify how many people are facing issues, it is clear that the measures are spilling over to regular subscribers. Complaints Start Pouring In TorrentFreak reached out to Netflix for a comment but the company didn’t immediately reply. However, a quick glance on social media shows a disturbing number of Netflix subscribers who are “missing” content, which is exactly what would happen when an IP-address is flagged. “Hi! I noticed that my account is displaying nothing but Netflix originals and a handful of non-Netflix original content on my TV, but on my phone, it displays everything as usual/normal,” Reddit user literarydone observed. “Idk whats happened but Netflix suddenly stopped showing tv shows that I was watching when my laptop is connected to the internet over wifi. it shows the same tv shows when my laptop is connected to the internet over mobile data hotspot,” another person wrote, with a commenter reporting the same problem. Over the past 24 hours alone, there were multiple reports from people who are suffering “missing title” issues. None of these appear to use a VPN. The common theme is that Netflix only shows Netflix originals on their IP address, which is expected when it’s flagged as a VPN or proxy. One Redditor managed to get a new IP-address from his ISP, which immediately resolved the problem. “Contact Your ISP…” While Netflix hasn’t released an official comment on the situation, the company is aware of the problems. One user who complained on Twitter, got the advice to contact their ISP to see if their IP address is associated with proxy or VPN use. This is a peculiar suggestion, as the blocking is taking place on Netflix’s end. We don’t know how widespread the problem is but based on the number of complaints we have seen so far it’s certainly not an isolated issue. That begs the question if the VPN banning measures are worth the collateral damage. Netflix has all the rights to take action against people who bypass their restrictions, but when this harms paying customers who don’t use a VPN, it might not be the best solution. Meanwhile, VPNs are taking countermeasures to make sure that their customers can access Netflix without restrictions. WeVPN told us that the company is experimenting with a solution, which appears to function for now. CyberGhost and Private Internet Access, which were also affected by Netflix’s new blockades, say they managed to route around it within a day. Netflix Intensifies ‘VPN’ Ban and Targets Residential IP-addresses Too
  13. A one-minute video could be standing between you and your 15 minutes of fame Netflix is tripling down on its reality TV programming by renewing its most popular shows and opening up casting for future programming to anyone over the age of 18 in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, or Ireland, the company announced Monday. Anyone interested who meets that criteria can submit a one-minute video on Netflix’s new dedicated reality TV site. The application can be used for multiple shows on Netflix’s current slate, from baking competitions like Nailed It! to saucier romantic options like Love is Blind. (Netflix also offers the option to apply to all of its shows at once if you prefer a more “spaghetti meets wall” approach.) Netflix will let you apply for shows across a broad spectrum of topics at once. Image: Netflix Netflix is also renewing several of its most well-known shows, all the better to fill with the new collection of randos it finds online. Arranged marriage docuseries Indian Matchmaking and food competition The American Barbecue Showdown are both getting renewed for second seasons, while The Circle has been renewed for two more seasons of competitive catfishing. In terms of new reality TV, Netflix is casting for a new series it calls Roaring Twenties focused on, you guessed it, twenty-year-olds living together. The official, only marginally more informative description follows: Roaring Twenties is the coming-of-age story of eight twenty-somethings who set out to find success in life and love in Austin, Texas while learning to navigate the ‘new normal’ of 2020’s America. Living together and leaning on each other, they experience the highs and lows that come with being an adult. After all, your twenties are a crazy, weird, and special time in your life, and you only get to live them once. Leaning in even harder into reality TV seems to make a lot of sense for Netflix. In comparison to a big buzzy, expensive property like The Witcher — which reportedly cost around $10 million per episode — reality TV is cheaper to produce but can still stand out from the more basic fare found on network TV due to Netflix’s ad-free experience. The weirdness and specificity of Netflix’s premises is also a strength, Vulture writes. It creates some natural buzz (how could something as odd as Sexy Beasts not?) and offers a little something for everyone. With an even broader net for casting, now Netflix can potentially use a little bit of everyone, too. Netflix is working on a bunch of new reality shows, and you’re invited
  14. Mary Elizabeth Winstead follows up Birds of Prey role with a fierce action thriller. Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays an elite assassin—the titular Kate. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. A ruthless criminal operative is poisoned and has less than 24 hours to exact revenge on her killers in Kate, a new action thriller from Netflix starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who played Huntress in Birds of Prey. The streaming service seems to be casting about for a female version of the hugely successful John Wick franchise, but it's harder to pull off than it looks. First, there was 2020's The Old Guard, in which Charlize Theron leads an immortal group of mercenaries on a mission of revenge. Theron was terrific, but the film itself was uneven. Just last month, Netflix served up the disappointing Gunpowder Milkshake, which had a stellar all-star cast and all the right elements, including some impressive fight choreography. But as with The Old Guard, nothing really gelled, and as much as I love Karen Gillan, she seemed ill-suited to the role. Gunpowder Milkshake ended up feeling flat, predictable, and like an exercise in style over substance. The basic premise of Kate is a familiar one; it's essentially a twist on the classic 1950 film noir D.O.A., in which a man—a seemingly ordinary accountant and notary public—walks into a police station and says he has been poisoned, with only a few days left to live and discover who murdered him. (Due to someone not renewing the copyright on time, the film is in the public domain.) It has inspired three direct remakes: 1969's Color Me Dead, 1988's D.O.A. (starring Dennis Quaid), and the 2017 film Dead on Arrival. And the film has influenced countless more, such as the 2006 film Crank, in which Jason Statham plays a British hitman who has to keep his adrenaline levels spiking to counteract being given a deadly poison. Kate seems like a combination of D.O.A., Crank, and Gunpowder Milkshake. Per the official premise: Meticulous and preternaturally skilled, Kate is the perfect specimen of a finely tuned assassin at the height of her game. But when she uncharacteristically blows an assignment targeting a member of the yakuza in Tokyo, she quickly discovers she’s been poisoned, a brutally slow execution that gives her less than 24 hours to exact revenge on her killers. As her body swiftly deteriorates, Kate forms an unlikely bond with the teenage daughter of one of her past victims. I don't know why filmmakers seem to think female assassins have to bond with young girls to show their softer emotional side, but so be it. Director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan received an Oscar nomination for his visual effects for 2012's Snow White and the Huntsman and made his directorial debut in 2016 with The Huntsman: Winter's War. Based on this trailer, he has put that background to excellent use in Kate. We'll have to see if Nicolas-Troyan can take this well-worn formula and make it his own, despite a frankly boring title. The Huntress was my favorite character in Birds of Prey, largely due to Winstead's deadpan delivery, which draws out both the character's single-minded resolve and her extreme social awkwardness. Case in point: after taking out several bad guys with her trademark efficiency and athleticism, she turns around to see her compatriots staring at her in awe. "What?" she says, completely unaware of what a badass she is. If Winstead gets the chance to showcase that mix of skills again in Kate, she could easily establish her place alongside Charlize Theron as a credible action star. The Kate trailer opens with Kate on a job that goes horribly wrong when she misses the kill shot. By the time Kate checks in with a doctor, she only has 14 or 15 hours to exact revenge. She tells her handler, Varrick (Woody Harrelson), that she was poisoned and asks who the target was for this job. It's none other than "the grand honcho of the Yakuza," who lives in the shadows and "never surfaces... ever," Varrick tells her. "Somebody knows," Kate replies, and she sets her sights on young Ani (Miku Patricia Martineau) for information. Ani does seem to know who's behind the poisoning and offers to help. Frankly, Ani is more than a little taken with her new ally. "You're like that person in a nightmare," she enthuses. "Take no shit from no dudes. You're scary. Just a total killer babe." We get plenty of footage of Kate in action to demonstrate that Ani's assessment is largely correct. Even when the odds are 20 to 1, a confident Ani assures the villains that they are outnumbered and are all going to die. Kate will probably take her revenge, which should teach the mysterious mastermind a lesson about giving a highly trained assassin a slow-acting deadly poison, thereby ensuring said assassin has plenty of time to retaliate. Kate debuts on Netflix on September 10, 2021. Trailer for Netflix action thriller Kate, debuting September 10, 2021. Listing image by YouTube/Netflix Netflix is still trying to find its female John Wick with trailer for Kate (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  15. No one dies in the town of Skarnes. Could a hungry vampire save the local funeral home? The seemingly idyllic Norwegian town of Skarnes. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. Scandinavian crime dramas have become so prevalent—thanks in part to Netflix including so much foreign content on their platform—that they've inspired the occasional sketch comedy parody. And now we're getting Norway's take on the supernatural police procedural, with vampires: Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes. Netflix just released some first-look images on the heels of dropping the official trailer last week, and Post Mortem looks like the darker cousin of iZombie and The Santa Clarita Diet with a dash of Six Feet Under. Directed by Harald Zwart (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, The Karate Kid) with Petter Holmsen (who also serves as head writer), the six-episode series is "an intriguing mix of thriller, drama, and supernatural elements," according to Tesha Crawford, director of Nordic original series at Netflix. Per the official premise: Live Hallangen is declared dead. Hours later she suddenly wakes up on the forensic table. A dark, insatiable hunger has awoken in her. Meanwhile, her brother Odd tries to keep the family driven funeral home afloat, but the stagnant death rate in the small Norwegian town of Skarnes makes it impossible. Live has to learn to control her new dangerous nature and decide if she is willing to sacrifice people’s lives for her own survival, which ironically goes hand in hand with the survival of the family business. Kathrine Thorborg Johansen stars as Live, Elias Holmsen Sorensen plays Odd, Kim Fairchild plays Judith, Andre Sorum is Reinert, Sarah Khorami is Rose, and Terje Stromdahl is Arvid. In a statement, Zwart praised his cast members, saying that they all "embody the blend of Scandinavian mystique and dark humor." The trailer opens with Live waking up in a hospital. Odd tells her that everyone thought she was dead after her body was found in a field. The responding officers processed the scene and transported her body to the morgue—at which point she woke up on the autopsy table. Officers Judith and Reinert are beside themselves about the mix-up, although Judith adds, "In our defense, you seemed really dead." Live soon realizes she isn't quite herself. There's the sudden onset of insomnia, and her senses are strangely heightened—so much so that she can hear a person's pulse. Also, her eyes have changed color to a rich emerald, and she finds that she is significantly stronger. Then there's her growing thirst for blood, culminating in a shot of Live waking up with her mouth covered in it—hopefully from the local blood bank, but Officer Judith has her suspicions that something stranger is going on. Odd, for his part, is happy to admit that he wishes there were a serial killer on the loose, as at least that would drum up some much-needed business for his funeral home. A dive into the family archives reveals that Live's mother may have suffered from a similar malady, shrieking about just needing "a little blood" on the preserved tapes. There's a strange naked figure with a yellow bag over its head, a shot of Live being chloroformed, and an outbreak of fire—one of the things that definitely kills a vampire. All in all, Post Mortem looks like an entertaining series. Coming on the heels of the Netflix horror thriller Blood Red Sky (essentially "Vampires on a Plane"), bloodsuckers seem to be pushing back against the pop-culture dominance of zombies over the last decade. Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes drops on Netflix on August 25, 2021. Trailer for Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes, coming to Netflix on August 25, 2021. Listing image by YouTube/Netflix Post Mortem is the Norwegian vampire procedural dramedy we need right now (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  16. Netflix bleeds subscribers in US and Canada, with no sign of recovery Streaming group issues disappointing forecasts for third-quarter customer growth. Enlarge LPETTET | Getty Images Netflix lost 430,000 subscribers in the US and Canada in the second quarter and issued weaker than expected forecasts for later in the year, rekindling investor doubts over how the streaming group will fare after the economic reopening. The California-based company predicted it would add 3.5 million subscribers in the third quarter, disappointing investors who were looking for a stronger rebound in the second half of the year. Analysts had forecast that Netflix would add 5.9 million subscribers during the third quarter. In the past year and a half, Disney, Apple, WarnerMedia, Comcast and others have launched streaming platforms, and there are more than 100 streaming services for consumers to choose from, according to data company Ampere. Yet on a call for investors, executives dismissed the idea that competition was behind the weaker figures. “Does HBO or Disney... have a differential impact compared to the past? We’re not seeing that in the [data] we have,” said Reed Hastings, Netflix co-chief executive. “That gives us comfort.” Traditional media companies have spent the past few years consolidating in order to compete with Netflix. Most recently, Discovery agreed to merge with WarnerMedia to form a mega-streaming service. Referencing the industry consolidation, Ted Sarandos, co-chief executive, told investors: “Let’s see if one plus one equals three... versus the typical one plus one equals two.” Intrigue over Netflix’s plans to delve into video games helped offset the weakness in its core business, lifting the shares 0.8 percent in after-hours trading. Netflix last week revealed the hiring of Mike Verdu, a 30-year veteran of the gaming industry. The company on Tuesday said it would initially focus on games for mobile phones and offer games at no extra cost to paying subscribers of the streaming group. Hastings framed video games as a complement to Netflix’s existing business rather than a large new profit driver. “We’re a one-product company with a bunch of supporting elements.” In total, Netflix added 1.5 million subscribers in the second quarter, just above Wall Street forecasts of 1.1 million. After adding a record number of customers last year, subscriber growth has slowed sharply as competitors entered the market and people emerged from coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. Sign-ups have ground to a halt in the US, Netflix’s largest market, where the majority of COVID restrictions have been rolled back. “The pandemic has created unusual choppiness in our growth,” the company’s management told shareholders. Netflix executives have blamed the subscriber number weakness on a lighter offering of shows and movies and promised that growth would pick up in the second half of 2021 with the return of titles such as The Witcher and Sex Education. “COVID and its variants make predicting the future hard, but with productions largely running smoothly so far, we’re optimistic in our ability to deliver a strong second half [shows],” the company said. Netflix remains by far the largest paid video streaming service, with 209 million subscribers, compared with 104 million for Disney Plus, its closest competitor. Revenues in the second quarter rose 19 percent from the same period last year to $7.3 billion, meeting analysts’ forecasts. Net income increased to $1.4 billion, up from $720 million a year ago. Netflix bleeds subscribers in US and Canada, with no sign of recovery
  17. Netflix confirms gaming venture with focus on mobile experiences We reported a few days ago that Netflix may be entering the video game space after signing on ex-EA and Facebook executive Mike Verdu as the VP of game development. Today, the company has confirmed those rumors and revealed some more details. In a letter to its shareholders, Netflix revealed the nitty gritty details of its financial margins, quarterly revenues, and viewing figures for its popular TV shows and movies. If you are interested in those details, feel free to peruse the 12-page document here. The particularly interesting bit tucked away in the letter is confirmation of Netflix' venture into the domain of game development. As excerpt from the document reads: We’re also in the early stages of further expanding into games, building on our earlier efforts around interactivity (eg, Black Mirror Bandersnatch) and our Stranger Things games. We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV. Games will be included in members’ Netflix subscription at no additional cost similar to films and series. Initially, we’ll be primarily focused on games for mobile devices. We’re excited as ever about our movies and TV series offering and we expect a long runway of increasing investment and growth across all of our existing content categories, but since we are nearly a decade into our push into original programming, we think the time is right to learn more about how our members value games. For those unaware, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is a choose-your-own-adventure-style TV episode where your choices affect the outcome. Meanwhile, Stranger Things: The Game is a top-down RPG adventure available on mobile devices and stylized in a retro format reminiscent of handheld console games of yesteryear. While that may clue us in to some of the formats that Netflix might be exploring, it is important to note that the company says that it will focus on "games for mobile devices" initially. Although some might find this bit of news disappointing, it's likely that these plans may evolve and expand depending upon the success of the initial venture. It may also be heartening to see that the games will be tied to your Netflix subscription so you don't have to may extra for them. However, it remains to be seen how this content will be distributed since its previous Android game was a free offering that did not require a Netflix subscription. The company hasn't stated when it will start releasing more mobile games, but the previous rumor had hinted at 2022. We'll likely find out more in the coming weeks. Netflix confirms gaming venture with focus on mobile experiences
  18. Netflix will reportedly enter the gaming space next year A couple of months ago, rumors started floating around that Netflix is getting into the video games space. Although the company did not confirm the report, it did not deny it either like it did in 2018 when similar rumors emerged. Today, another report has claimed that the firm will be entering the gaming scene as early as next year and has also signed on a leadership role for the venture. Bloomberg (paywall) says that Netflix has hired Mike Verdu as the "vice president of game development". The executive has previously worked at Electronic Arts and was also the managing director of augmented and virtual reality at Facebook. The title of the designation implies that Netflix will be developing its own games rather than just licensing titles from third-parties, although this has not been confirmed yet. While the report claims that Netflix will enter this space in 2022, it does not indicate what kind of experience the firm is planning. The distribution format of video games is also unclear, but sources close to the matter have suggested that the company does not plan to charge more for this capability. Although some may find it odd that the TV streaming giant is venturing into video games, it is important to note that the firm competes for leadership over media content being played on TVs, which doesn't necessarily have to be traditional movies and TV shows. Further evidence of this experiment can be seen in 2018's release of interactive thriller Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. That said, it is important to note that none of these plans have been officially confirmed by the firm, so they are susceptible to change, if they ever do come to fruition. Source: Bloomberg (paywall) via Kotaku Netflix will reportedly enter the gaming space next year
  19. Witcher training is no fun at all in the first trailer for The Witcher season 2 Coming December 17th to Netflix The first trailer for The Witcher season 2 has arrived, hot on the heels of Netflix’s announcement that the show will be returning on December 17th, at the inaugural WitcherCon event. And unlike earlier teases, this one’s a proper, full-length look at the upcoming season. Mild spoilers for The Witcher, season 1 ahead Picking up where the first season left off, Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) has finally joined up with the exiled Princess Cirilla. The second season will see the two travel to Kaer Morhen, the mountain fortress of the witchers where Geralt was trained — and where Ciri will be undergoing similar trials to become a witcher herself. And if the teaser is anything to go by, learning to become a witcher is no fun at all. There are also plenty of shots of Cavill dashing through the snow, battling monsters, and brandishing swords at people — all in a day’s work for an itinerant monster-hunter. In addition to the new trailer, Netflix also teased several other bits of news for the upcoming season, including a behind-the-scenes featurette with Anya Chalotra and Freya Allan on their respective characters Yennefer and Ciri’s storylines in season 2, a look at fan-favorite bard Jaskier’s new maroon wardrobe, and the somewhat-cryptic episode titles for the second season. Also announced at WitcherCon was a release date for the upcoming animated prequel film, The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, which will come to Netflix August 23rd, and an official announcement of a next-generation PS5 and Xbox Series X update for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt from CD Projekt Red, which will arrive for free later this year and bring DLC inspired by the Netflix show. Lastly, Cavill promised that the second season will feature a new song from Jaskier — but we’ll have to wait until the show arrives in December to see if the bard has managed to surpass the meme-worthy “Toss a Coin To Your Witcher,” or not. Witcher training is no fun at all in the first trailer for The Witcher season 2
  20. The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf is coming to Netflix in August An animated prequel The fantasy world of The Witcher is going to expand later this summer. At WitcherCon — a new event dedicated to, obviously, The Witcher — Netflix announced that the animated prequel Nightmare of the Wolf will debut on August 23rd. The show, which was originally announced last year, is being handled by Korean studio Mir — best-known for its work on shows like The Legend of Korra — with Witcher showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich serving as a producer. The anime movie takes place before the events of the show, following Geralt’s mentor Vesemir. You can get a sense of the world and setting in the trailer above. The Witcher debuted on Netflix at the end of 2019 and almost immediately became a huge hit. Since then, the streaming service has set about turning it into a franchise; in addition to Nightmare of the Wolf, there’s a second season of the main show coming in December, along with a live-action spinoff starring Michelle Yeoh. The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf is coming to Netflix in August
  21. Netflix gives us our first look at Zack Snyder’s heist film Army of Thieves It's a prequel to Snyder's Army of the Dead, so yes, there will also be zombies. Matthias Schweighöfer was a comic highlight in Army of the Dead as brilliant safecracker Ludwig Dieter. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. If, like me, you thoroughly enjoyed Zack Snyder's gory comic/horror zombie thriller Army of the Dead, you'll be intrigued by Netflix's prequel series, Army of Thieves, one of two upcoming Snyder projects set in the same fictional universe. Co-producer Deborah Snyder has said Army of Thieves will be a standalone film and compared the "romantic comedy heist" to 2003's The Italian Job (itself a remake of the 1969 British film). Army of the Dead followed Dave Bautista and his team of mercenaries as they ventured into zombie-infested Las Vegas to recover millions in cash from a casino vault. Naturally, brain-munching carnage ensued. As I wrote in my review, "While Snyder's distinctive directorial style is plainly evident, he has reined in his worst impulses to give us a clever, entertaining twist on the zombie apocalypse, featuring all the flesh-eating carnage one expects from the genre." Bautista received top billing as Scott Ward, who brings the team together for the Vegas heist in hopes of having something to leave his estranged daughter, Kate (Ella Purnel). But the entire ensemble cast was terrific. In addition to Tig Notaro's delightfully cynical pilot and Samantha Win's martial arts fireworks, viewers loved the dynamic between zombie-killing-machine Vanderohe (Omari Hardwick) and the brilliantly nerdy, high-strung German safecracker Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer). Not only did the two forge a believable (albeit reluctant) bond, Dieter's well-timed high-pitched screams whenever a zombie charged was one of several running gags. So naturally Dieter is getting his own prequel. Army of Thieves was already in post-production when Army of the Dead debuted, having wrapped filming in Germany in December. Schweighöfer both stars and directs, and while the film is not a bona fide zombie film, it is set in the early stages of the zombie outbreak that makes up the opening backstory montage of Army of the Dead. The plot "takes place in a world where these zombies exist in America and it's causing instability in the banking institutions," Deborah Snyder told Indie Wire. "They're moving money around, so it's the perfect opportunity for a heist." And, apparently, for romance. Zack Snyder has confirmed there will be zombies in the film, and we'll also get more of Dieter's backstory, particularly how he learned his safecracking trade. In addition to Schweighöfer, Nathalie Emmanuel co-stars as Gwendoline, a mysterious woman who hires Dieter and his "misfit crew of aspiring thieves." One assumes she is also a love interest, given the romantic comedy angle. Guz Khan plays Rolph, Ruby O. Fee plays Korina, and Stuart Martin plays Brad Cage. The cast also includes Jonathan Cohen, Noemie Nakai, Peter Simonischek, and John Bubniak. Army of Thieves is scheduled for release in late 2021. Netflix reported that 72 million people watched its predecessor in the first four weeks after it premiered, and we can probably expect similar numbers for the prequel, particularly since Dieter was such a fan favorite. Also in development is an anime-inspired prequel TV series, Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, in which we will learn more about Scott's origin story. Bautista, Purnell, Ana de la Reguera, Notaro, and Hardwick are all returning to voice their respective characters for the six-episode series. Additional voice casting includes Vanessa Hudgens, Joe Manganiello, Christian Slater, Yetide Badaki, Harry Lennix, Monica Barbaro, Anya Chalotra, Christina Wrent, and Nolan North. Snyder seems to have forged a strong working relationship with Netflix. The director just announced yet another project with the streamer—an epic sci--fi fantasy called Rebel Moon—that the director hopes will launch another successful franchise. A decade ago, Snyder developed a Star Wars pitch that never went anywhere after Disney acquired LucasFilm in 2012. Snyder began reworking the concept as a side project over the last several years. Per the official premise: "When a peaceful colony on the edge of the galaxy finds itself threatened by the armies of the tyrannical Regent Balisarius, they dispatch a young woman with a mysterious past to seek out warriors from neighboring planets to help them take a stand." Listing image by Netflix Netflix gives us our first look at Zack Snyder’s heist film Army of Thieves (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  22. Netflix is turning Zack Snyder's reworked Star Wars pitch into a movie Rebel Moon could kick off an all-new sci-fi universe at Netflix (Image credit: Netflix/Clay Enos) Following almost immediately after the 2012 sale of Lucasfilm to Disney, Hollywood was flooded with Star Wars-related pitches from the industry's leading writers and filmmakers – all of whom wanted to take the expansive franchise in bold new directions. Zack Snyder, however, had his own Star Wars pitch that predated the sale – one which promised a "more mature" Star Wars story that was heavily inspired by Akira Kurosawa's 1954 masterpiece, Seven Samurai. There was even talk of turning his idea into a series. While that pitch regrettably failed to move forward following Disney's acquisition of the franchise, it appears that we will finally get to see what Snyder had in mind all those years ago. In an exclusive announcement via The Hollywood Reporter, Snyder has revealed that his Star Wars pitch has been reworked into Rebel Moon, an original sci-fi adventure film that he will co-write and direct for Netflix. Rebel Moon: what's the story Set in an entirely different galaxy that's also far, far away, Rebel Moon's story kicks off when "a peaceful colony on the edge of the galaxy is threatened by the armies of a tyrannical regent named Balisarius." In true Seven Samurai fashion, this leads the desperate colony to "dispatch a young woman with a mysterious past to seek out warriors from neighboring planets to help them make a stand." "This is me growing up as an Akira Kurosawa fan, a Star Wars fan," said Snyder in his announcement. “It’s my love of sci-fi and a giant adventure. My hope is that this also becomes a massive IP and a universe that can be built out.” Rebel Moon is being co-written with Shay Hatten and Kurt Johnstad, both of whom worked with Snyder on 300 and Army of the Dead. Hatten, who is responsible for fleshing out the John Wick universe, has been hired to do the same for Rebel Moon. "I’ve spent the last two or three years building out this universe. Every corner has to be painted in. I’ve been doing designs, constantly drawing and really cultivating its fertile ground to make this world fully realized," said Hatten. Why Netflix is the perfect place for Rebel Moon It's no secret that Netflix is looking to develop potential franchise-starters in a bid to compete with Disney Plus, which is already off to a running start thanks to its Star Wars and Marvel exclusivity. Netflix's previous collaboration with Snyder, Army of the Dead, is already in the process of being spun out into its own cinematic universe, with a prequel film (Army of Thieves) and spin-off anime series (Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas) currently in the works. It's also easy to see why Netflix is keen to stay in the Zack Snyder business – Army of the Dead was reportedly viewed by 72 million households in its first four weeks, making it one of the streamer's most popular films to date. The idea of a more grown-up take on a Star Wars-like story sounds tantalising to say the least. Thankfully, we shouldn't have to wait too long to see it – Snyder says he's "been working on this on the side for so long, it’s pretty far along," and that he hopes to begin production on Rebel Moon in early 2022. Netflix is turning Zack Snyder's reworked Star Wars pitch into a movie
  23. Netflix Is Losing Its Cool Even as it dominates globally, the streaming giant no longer shines. HBO Max and Disney+, your move. At this point, Netflix isn't totally devoid of worthwhile content, but its ratio of blah offerings to genuine winners is all off.Illustration: WIRED; Getty Images There’s only one reason I haven’t canceled my Netflix subscription. I’ve been counting the days until the streaming service releases the second season of Tim Robinson’s sketch show I Think You Should Leave. (Almost there! It comes out July 6.) But once I tear through Robinson’s latest, it might be time to smash the unsubscribe button. Over the past year, the most popular streamer has become my least-watched. If apps could gather dust, it would have cobwebs. Netflix is the Kleenex of streaming, a brand so dominant it can stand for the whole of the market. (It’s not “Hulu and chill,” after all.) There are signs that this synecdochal power is waning, though. Shiny new rivals, particularly HBO Max and Disney+, have rolled out their own formidable streaming libraries. Plus, a constellation of smaller streamers have established themselves by catering to niche audiences. Film buffs have MUBI, Ovid, and Criterion; horror fans have Shudder; for anime devotees, there’s Crunchyroll and Funimation; the list goes on. As competitors multiply in the United States, they’re purloining former Netflix staples like The Office and Friends and coming out with features every bit as cinematic as Netflix awards bait like The Irishman. The original streaming giant is finally facing real competition. With buzz building for these newer services’ hits—like WandaVision on Disney+, or HBO’s Mare of Easttown—streaming analyst Sarah Henschel says it is understandable that Netflix feels less popular right now. But she sees its dominance as far from over. “Netflix is still blowing everyone out of the water, they’re still the market leader.” Financially, it’s in a good place: Having recently rocketed past 200 million subscribers, it has also finally stopped borrowing money. Henschel attributes Netflix’s reputational funk to Covid-related production delays. What’s more, she sees Netflix as completely peerless in international markets. Operating in 190 countries, Netflix has a formidable head start over everyone else, and it pours resources into plucking shows from around the world that perform across borders, like the fun French-language caper Lupin. Even as it adds subscribers globally, though, Netflix’s domestic market share is shrinking. As that happens, competitors are moving in. According to analysis from streaming guide ReelGood, HBO Max had the most popular blockbuster film releases this spring and early summer with Mortal Kombat and Godzilla vs. Kong. Its tag team of action movies made Netflix’s biggest hit, Army of the Dead, look wimpy. Plus, while Netflix continues to build itself into a streamer doubling as a studio, Amazon just bought a studio—MGM—outright. And some of Netflix’s homegrown attempts at making its own Game of Thrones–style or Marvel-style cultural touchstone have fizzled out spectacularly; a television adaptation of Mark Millar’s comic Jupiter’s Legacy, initially intended as a launchpad for a superhero franchise, was abruptly canceled less than a month after it debuted. Here’s the thing: Jupiter’s Legacy had mediocre reviews. And mediocrity is increasingly a liability when competitors have hotter rosters. I Think You Should Leave aside, the other upcoming show on Netflix I’ve seen people hyped up for is that nightmarish-looking furry-themed dating show Sexy Beasts. And while its commitment to the grotesque appears admirable, Sexy Beasts looks like good-humored trash at best. This is not to say that Netflix is totally devoid of worthwhile content—the limited-series food show High on the Hog comes to mind as a recent creative success—but that its ratio of blah offerings to genuine winners is all off. At least for me, right now, there’s too much filler and not enough appointment television to justify the price, especially with other streamers asking for my money. HBO Max, meanwhile, has a clunky user interface and a bad habit of fritzing out on its biggest nights. (When I tried to watch the finale of Mare of Easttown, the app on my Apple TV kept playing an episode of The Big Bang Theory. Rude.) But since its debut in May 2020, HBO Max has gradually bodied Netflix where it hurts the most: by offering better shows and movies. The HBO originals back catalog is already unparalleled, plus it has been on a roll with creative, fresh shows like I May Destroy You and Hacks. The pandemic spurred parent company WarnerMedia to release its slate of theater-bound Warner Bros. movies on the platform, from Shaka King’s tense, excellent drama Judas and the Black Messiah to the upcoming, long-awaited Dune. While Netflix’s 2021 film slate is nothing to sniff at—there’s new Adam McKay and Jane Campion films coming, for example—it simply doesn’t have the juice from a studio like Warner Bros. behind it. After years secure in its position as the “it” streaming service, Netflix has, at least temporarily, lost the quality-control crown to HBO Max. Will Netflix get its groove back? It certainly could, perhaps by the time I Think You Should Leave’s third season makes me renew my subscription. But it also might be so big it doesn’t need the zeitgeist, anyways. There is a good road map for how Netflix could continue to dominate even if it loses its cool forever. In a recent column on media consolidation, my colleague Angela Watercutter pointed out that the competing streaming services may end up resembling network TV’s Big Three: ABC, NBC, and CBS. While CBS wasn’t the first television network—NBC beat it to the punch—it became the most popular network just as Americans were purchasing television sets en masse in the 1950s and 1960s. Likewise, Netflix wasn’t technically the first streaming service (that was iTV, out of Hong Kong), but it was the one that became the juggernaut. I’d argue that Netflix may be inching ever closer to occupying the role that CBS did during the heyday of broadcast television—incredibly popular, and yet rarely considered even remotely adjacent to hip. And yes, of course, Paramount+ is literally the CBS of streaming services in that it is owned by CBS—but Netflix is its true spiritual successor, with a vast, entrenched audience. Relevance will be a battle fought over and over in the streaming wars, but this is still ultimately a tussle for the most eyeballs, not the most discerning ones. Netflix Is Losing Its Cool (May require free registration to view)
  24. Netflix original Navarasa, an anthology of nine stories, to stream Aug 9 Presented by Mani Ratnam (Image credit: Netflix) After Jagame Thanthiram, the biggest Tamil streamer on Netflix is going to be Navarasa, the nine-storied anthology web series presented by ace director Mani Ratnam. But he is not directing any of the stories in the anthology, and he is presenting the series along with Jayendra Panchapakesan. The much-expected series, which was announced last year, is said to stream on Netflix on August 9. An official word, and possibly a teaser, is expected to be out today from the streaming platform. Navarasa, as the name unambiguously says, will explore the nine basic emotions of humans --- anger, compassion, courage, disgust, fear, laughter, love, peace and wonder. It was originally slated to stream in May, but the second wave of Covid-19 put paid to those plans. Best names in Southern film industry in Navarasa The nine standalone stories of Navarasa are helmed by nine different directors from Tamil and Malayalam, and it boasts of stellar cast and technicians, including Oscar winning music director A R Rahman. The nine directors are: Arvind Swami, Bejoy Nambiar, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Halitha Shameem, Priyadarshan, Karthick Naren, Karthik Subbaraj, Vasanth and Rathindran R Prasad. Navarasa marks the OTT debut of actors like Suriya, Revathy, Parvathy, Siddharth, Vijay Sethupathi, Prakash Raj, Vikranth, Gautham Karthik and Aishwarya Rajesh. Actors Prasanna, Nithya Menen, Bobby Simha, Poorna, Ashok Selvan and Robo Shankar return to the OTT space. Apart from these names, the anthology also stars Saravanan, Alagam Perumal, Ramesh Thilak, Sananth, Vidhu, and Sreeram. All aces from the Tamil film industry. (Image credit: Netflix) Navarasa is written by 'Pattukotai' Prabhakar, Selvaa, Madhan Karky and Someetharan. There are nine cinematographers for the nine shorts, and they are: Santosh Sivan, Balasubramanien, Manoj Paramahamsa, Abhinandan Ramanujam, Shreyaas Krishna, Harshvir Oberai, Sujith Sarang, V Babu, Viraj Singh. The music directors, apart from Rahman, are: D Imman, Ghibran, Arul dev, Karthik, Ron Ethan, Govind Vasantha and Justin Prabhakaran. Those behind this project have offered their services pro-bono. Also, the proceeds from the films towards the well-being of film workers in Tamil cinema impacted by the pandemic. "The idea of Navarasa was a spark when we discussed it and the industry has come together to make it glow, give it soul and make it count for its people. We are happy that Netflix has come forward to take this confluence of emotion, talent, people and the cause to the world,” Mani Ratnam and Jayendra said when the series was announced last year. Anthologies, a mixed bag Among the nine stories, only the short helmed by Gautham Vasudev Menon, starring Suriya in the role of a musician, has its title announced. It is named: Guitar Kambi Melae Nindru. Netflix has had mixed results with anthology series, but it has been consistently backing them. Two weeks ago it streamed Ray, a four-storied anthology based on the short stories of Sathyajit Ray. Previously it had streamed, among others, in Tamil itself Paava Kadhaigal; in Telugu, Pitta Kathalu; and in Hindi, Lust Stories, Ajeeb Dastaans and Zindagi In Shorts. Anthologies are popular among the audiences of OTT platforms. But the general criticism against them is they tend to be patchy as different directors and different treatments lead to unevenness in quality and even tonality. In that sense, the nine different shorts of Navarasa have a bigger challenge to surmount. Navarasa is among the big projects of Netflix in India for the year 2021. Netflix original Navarasa, an anthology of nine stories, to stream Aug 9
  25. Watch the first five minutes of Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy Fear Street Part One: 1994 hits Netflix on July 2nd Netflix has shared the first five minutes of its upcoming horror movie trilogy Fear Street, inspired by R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series of young adult novels. The film trilogy, which will be released over three Fridays starting on July 2nd, is also split across three separate time periods: 1994, 1978, and 1666. Teens fleeing for their lives is universal, regardless of the year, it seems. Here’s Netflix’s synopsis for the films: In 1994, a group of teenagers discovers that the terrifying events that have haunted their town for generations may all be connected — and that they may be the next targets. As someone who grew up on Goosebumps and marathoned the made-for-TV movie adaptations of the books every Halloween, Fear Street seems like a pretty great update on that vibe. These first five minutes aren’t super scary, but they do translate some classic slasher movie tropes into R.L. Stine’s goofy style. If you want a more expansive look at the whole series, rather than just the first entry — Fear Street Part One: 1994 — you can check out this trailer from May: There’s not long to wait before you can get your R.L. Stine summer going: Fear Street Part One: 1994 premieres July 2nd, followed by Feat Street Part Two: 1978 on July 9th, and Fear Street Part Three: 1666 on July 16th. Watch the first five minutes of Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy
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