Netflix rolled out the red carpet at Rome’s Villa Miani on Wednesday to unveil new projects and expound on its international ambitions. CEO Reed Hastings and CCO Ted Sarandos made brief appearances high above the Eternal City introducing a series of panels and announcements that revealed details of such upcoming offerings as a continuation of the Peabody Award winning true crime mini The Staircase; a documentary about the November 2013 Paris Attacks; a Julian Fellowes-penned origins of soccer drama; German event series The Wave; Idris Elba-starrer Turn Up Charlie; its first Italian original film; and still more.
In 2018, Netflix is nearly doubling the number of produced shows and investment since 2017 overseas. It has over 35,000 people working on local productions and this year, says subscribers will have access to over 100 projects in 16 languages from 16 countries, including for the first time the Middle East and Africa.
The service said it is committed to local-language shows, noting series like Germany’s Dark which has taken off in places like Chile, Bangladesh and Canada. For every hour watched in Germany, nine were watched internationally.
“Our next Stranger Things could come from anywhere in the world,” Sarandos said, emphasizing the importance of international. He added that Netflix’s “shelf space is completely unlimited. We think of Netflix as a museum or an amusement park where the audience chooses the experience.” (The exec also announced new guest cast for Stranger Things Season 3 today.)
He added, “With over 100 European projects launching this year, we are committed to being a voice for European entertainment, giving passionate local content creators a worldwide platform to share their vision, and offering consumers around the world unique and diverse stories they can discover and enjoy, anywhere, anytime and at the same time, no matter their place or language of origin. And this is just the beginning of our journey.”
Among the intriguing pick-ups, Sarandos announced Netflix will air the original 2004 10-episode true crime series The Staircase, and add three new installments of the Peabody Award winning French mini which are produced and directed by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade and running in Tribeca before moving to the service this summer. He originally documented the trial of American novelist Michael Peterson who was accused of murdering his wife, Kathleen Peterson. De Lestrade secured intmate access to the story that he’s been following for 16 years, including the 2016 retrial.
Also in the doc category is a look at the 30-year-old French cold case about the murder of little Grégory Villemin which today still makes local headlines on a near-daily basis.
The first original Italian movie is Rimetti A Noi I Nostri Debiti (Forgive Us Our Debts) by Antonio Morabito with Claudio Santamaria, Marco Giallini and Jerzy Stuhr. Check out the trailer below.
Here’s a further rundown of the shows announced today:
– A first (untitled) Dutch original series, created by Pupkin Film and launching in 2019. In the liberal city of Amsterdam, these Dutch students have it all: youth, wealth, sex, power… and the portal to a demonic world from the Dutch Golden Age they opened by accident.
– Mortel, Netflix’s fifth original series from France, tells the story of teenagers bound together by a supernatural force. The series will be created by Frédéric Garcia and produced by Mandarin Television.
– The Wave is Netflix’s third original series from Germany and is based on the hit movie of the same name inspired by real events. It’s produced by Rat Pack in association with Sony Pictures Television Germany.
– Luna Nera is an original genre series about women suspected of witchcraft in 17th century Italy. It’s created by Francesca Manieri, Laura Paolucci and Tiziana Triana, and produced by Fandango.
– La Casa De Papel (Money Heist) Part 3 is the continuation of Netflix’s most-watched non-English-language series ever. It picks up after the global success of Part 1 and 2 of the Spanish heist sensation with new heists to be unveiled in 2019.
– The English Game is six-part drama about the invention of football and how those involved in its creation reached across the class divide to establish the game as the world’s most popular sport. Produced by 42 and written by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes.
– Turn Up Charlie, a new Netflix original comedy series from the UK starring Idris Elba. The eight-part series is executive produced by Elba and Gary Reich.
– An untitled docuseries based on one of the biggest cold cases in French history, the murder of Grégory Villemin in 1984. Elodie Polo Ackermann will serve as producer (Imagissime–Lagardère Studios) and Gilles Marchand as showrunner.
– The Staircase, the compelling story of Michael Peterson, a crime novelist accused of killing his wife Kathleen after she is found dead at the bottom of a staircase in their home, and the 16-year judicial battle that followed. The brand new episodes of this true crime phenomenon will air alongside the original series. Produced by Matthieu Belghiti and produced and directed by Academy award-winner Jean-Xavier de Lestrade.
– 13 Novembre: Fluctuat Nec Mergitur, a three-part documentary exploring the human stories behind the Parisian terrorist attacks on November 13, 2015 will launch on the service on June 1, 2018.
Rimetti A Noi I Nostri Debiti (Forgive Us Our Debts) trailer: