Netflix is heading out to sea with the first high-end wildlife documentary series from its deal with Blue Planet II creator James Honeyborne. The SVOD service has ordered Oceans (w/t) from his indie Freeborne Media.
This comes after Deadline revealed in January that Honeyborne had inked a multi-year deal with Honeyborne to produce nature and science series.
Oceans will tell the stories of the oceans of the planet, which cover 70% of the globe yet so little is known about each ocean’s unique character. Each episode will focus on a different ocean, combining the disciplines of oceanography, geography and earth sciences to experience these characteristics in new ways. From the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, to the raging wildness of the Atlantic, from the deceptively peaceful waters of the Pacific that are surrounded by a ring of fire, to the freezing isolation of the Southern and Arctic Oceans – the series will celebrate the diversity of our planet’s greatest habitats through the experiences of the remarkable creatures that live within.
Production will begin later this year.
It is Netflix’s latest move into the big-budget natural history world after launching David Attenborough’s Our Planet earlier this year.
Honeyborne left the BBC’s Natural History Unit earlier this year to launch Freeborne Media with director Renée Godfrey. He had worked at the NHU since the early 1990s and has overseen 35 films for the division. In addition to ratings hit Blue Planet II, which launched last year, he produced BBC’s Big Blue Live, which was a co-production with PBS, and Wild New Zealand with Nat Geo. He also series produced BBC and Discovery co-pro Africa. He also directed feature film Meerkats the Movie, which was narrated by Paul Newman.
The pair established Freeborne Media to produce “powerful” and “impactful” nature and science documentaries. The company is based in Bristol in the UK – widely seen as the center of wildlife film-making and the home of Honeyborne’s former employer, the BBC’s Natural History Unit.