Coming soon in 2016: Netflix originals series and films
James R | On 10, Jan 2016
Last week, Netflix launched in over 100 countries simultaneously, achieving the streaming service’s goal of almost total world domination.
But Netflix’s ambitions don’t just extend to global reach: its plans to create original content are equally grand, with Beasts of No Nation last year marking the premiere of its first original feature film – the first of many, with movie deals already signed with people such as Brad Pitt, Adam Sandler and Ricky Gervais. And that’s on top of TV series such as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, which are still returning with more episodes in the coming months.
In 2016 alone, the company plans to release 31 new and returning original series, two dozen original feature films and documentaries, a wide range of stand-up comedy specials and 30 original kids series, all of which will be available at the same time to members everywhere in almost 200 countries.
So what’s on Netflix’s content slate for the year? We’ve rounded up all the original projects we can find details on to give you a complete picture of what’s coming soon to Netlix UK in 2016.
Shadowhunters – 13th January
This new 13-episode adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments is premiering exclusively on Netflix in the UK, with episodes arriving every week within 24 hours of their premiere on ABC Family. For more information, click here.
Degrassi: The Next Class: Season 1 – 15th January
Netflix revives the Canadian TV series Degrassi, which began all the way back in 1979 until it was cancelled in 1986. The new version of the show – The Next Class – will tell the stories of Generation Z, following a group of teens as they begin their journey into adulthood.
Chelsea Does – 23rd January
Netflix’s new docu-series, hosted by Chelsea Handler, will see the Chelsea Lately talk show host tackle a range of controversial or topical subjects, from marriage and drugs to racism and Silicon Valley. Promising to explore the issues with her “unique voice and provocative point of view”, the show is directed by Oscar and Emmy-nominated Eddie Schmidt (This Film Is Not Yet Rated).
Ever After High: Dragon Games – 29th January
The sixth TV special produced in the Ever After High cartoon series.
Better Call Saul – 16th February
The series will return on Tuesday 16th February 2016 on Netflix UK, continuing the tale of Odenkirk’s descent from well-intentioned guy to bent criminal, with Season 1’s finale marking the turning point in his career. Having arrived at a fork in the road, will Jimmy take the straight and narrow path with a safe corporate job or will he fall back into his “Slippin’ Jimmy” con-artist ways?
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny – 26th February
The sequel, directed by choreographer extraordinaire Yuen Wo-Ping and starring Michelle Yoah and Donnie Yen, tells a story of young love and a legendary sword – a weapon that, should it fall into the hands of an evil warlord, will change the world (and the warriors trying to protect it) in ways they never imagined.
Love – 19th February
The 10-episode series, from the man behind Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, follows nice guy Gus (Paul Rust) and brazen wild-child Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) as they navigate the exhilarations and humiliations of intimacy, commitment, love and other things they were hoping to avoid. The half-hour comedy, produced by Apatow Productions and Legendary Television, promises to offer “an unflinching, hilarious and excruciatingly honest take on modern relationships”. A second season has already been ordered, with a further 12 episodes to be released in 2017.
Fuller House – 26th February
The series catches up with veterinarian D.J. Tanner-Fuller (Candace Cameron Bure), recently widowed and living in San Francisco, as D.J.’s younger sister/aspiring musician, Stephanie Tanner (Jodie Sweetin), and D.J.’s lifelong best friend/fellow single mother, Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber), along with Kimmy’s feisty teenage daughter, Ramona (Soni Nicole Bringas), all move in to help take care of D.J.’s three boys.
House of Cards: Season 4 – 4th March
After three seasons that saw Kevin Spacey’s calculating politician scheme his way into the White House’s Oval Office, two things became apparent: firstly, that his efforts would likely cost him his marriage, with Season 3’s move into domestic drama giving Robin Wright’s Clare Underwood a chance to take centre stage, and secondly, that not having a fourth season of the show would be a hugely missed opportunity, given the US Presidential Election race already underway.
Flaked – 11th March
After Arrested Development and BoJack Horseman, Will Arnett returns to Netflix with a new comedy series, co-created with Mark Chappell. Set in Venice, California, it follows a self-appointed guru who falls in love with the object of his best friend’s fascination, something that causes his public persona to unravel. AD’s Mitch Hurwitz is an Executive Producer.
Marvel’s Daredevil: Season 2 – 18th March
One of the most anticipated recommissions on Netflix’s slate, Daredevil’s second season will see Charlie Cox’s blind lawyer go head to head with The Punisher (Jon Bernthal).
The Ranch – 1st April
That 70s Show’s Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson reunite for a comedy set on a Colorado ranch that will see Kutcher’s lead returning home after a brief semi-pro football career to run the family business with his brother (Masterson). It will be released on Netflix in two 10-episode chunks.
Lost & Found Music Studios – 1st April
From Temple Street Productions, Lost & Found Music Studios is a series about a group of talented teenage musicians who struggle to find their authentic sound and place in the world as they hone their craft at a prestigious music studio. In each episode, young artists navigate the ups and downs of the music industry, as they find their way to love, inspiration and redemption. After all, the next hit song could be just one heartbreak away. Lost & Found Music Studios will premiere exclusively on Netflix worldwide, outside Canada, the UK and Ireland, with 26 half-hour episodes.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Season 2 – 15th April
Ellie Kemper returns as the impossibly upbeat former cult member for more sunny adventures and hilarious silliness.
Kong: King of the Apes – 15th April
This animated series show, from Executive Producer Avi Arad – producer of superhero stories such as Spider-Man, X-Men and Iron Man – will begin as a feature-length film in 2016, before expanding into 12 half-hour episodes.
Set in 2050, the CGI animation is a modern take on the classic King Kong story. Far in the future, Kong is still the strongest creature ever born. Meanwhile, the future looks bright for San Francisco’s Alcatraz Island since its transformation into the most impressive Natural History and Marine Preserve on the planet. But when the star attraction suddenly goes ape and Kong becomes public enemy number one, the villain who framed him is free to unleash an army of gigantic robotic dinosaurs on the unsuspecting world.
Special Correspondents – 29th April
Ricky Gervais and Eric Bana will star in this feature film, written and directed by Gervais. It follows a struggling New York radio journalist whose arrogance and decadent lifestyle has hindered his career. With his job on the line he fakes front line war reports from the comfort of his hideout above a Spanish restaurant in Queens.
The film also stars Vera Farmiga, Kelly Macdonald, America Ferrera and Benjamin Bratt.
Marseille – 5th May
Power, corruption, redemption. All in one major city. It might sound like House of Cards, but that’s exactly the plan for Netflix’s first French original series. Created and written by Dan Franck, writer of La Séparation and Les Hommes de l’ombre and co-writer of Carlos, Marseille follows Robert Taro, mayor of the titular city for 25 years. With elections on the way, though, he finds himself facing the man he chose as his heir, an ambitious youngster aiming high… Gerard Depardieu stars in the Kevin Spacey-like lead.
Grace and Frankie: Season 2 – 5th May
With a third season already commissioned for 2017, the streaming giant is clearly feeling confident about its comedy starring Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda.
Word Party: Season 1 – 3rd June
Word Party is a vocabulary building show from The Jim Henson Company that follows four adorable baby animals as they sing, dance and play. The show invites our youngest viewers to help teach the baby animals new words, learn these new words themselves, and even celebrate these achievements with a “Word Party!”
Orange Is the New Black: Season 4 – 17th June
“Welcome to Litchfield, inmate.”
Stranger Things – 15th July
This Netflix originl, previously called Montauk, is set in 1980 Indiana, where a young boy mysteriously vanishes into thin air. As friends, family, and local police search for answers, they are drawn into a mystery involving top secret experiments, supernatural forces, and one very strange little girl. Alongside a global cast of kids, Winona Ryder and David Harbour play the adults in the ensemble, with Ryder portraying Joyce, a working class single mother reeling from the disappearance of her 12-year-old son, and Harbour playing the town’s chief of police.
The Get Down – 12th August
The 13-episode show is by Baz Luhrmann – his first music-driven drama since Moulin Rouge – and follows a gang of teenagers growing up in 1970s New York – a city that’s broken down and beaten up, violent and cash strapped. Armed only with verbal games, improvised dance steps, some magic markers and spray cans, the friends witness a city at the brink of bankruptcy giving birth to hip-hop, punk and disco.
Other series coming soon in 2016 (dates TBC)
Bloodline: Season 2
The second season of Netflix’s family drama, starring Kyle Chandler and Ben Mendelsohn.
BoJack Horseman: Season 3
Because who doesn’t want more alcoholic equine action from Netflix’s wonderfully dark animation.
Marco Polo: Season 2
After the Christmas special, Netflix continues to follow the adventures of the famous explorer and his time in the court of Kublai Khan.
Between: Season 2
Netflix’s original series returns for a second season, as young survivors continue to solve the mystery of the disease that wiped out everybody over the age of 21. The first season premiered in May 2015, so you can expect a similar date for this second run.
Claire Foy stars as Queen Elizabeth II in an epic show that will chart the decades of the Queen’s reign, beginning with the 25-year-old princess faced with the daunting prospect of leading the monarchy, while also forging a relationship with the war-hardened Sir Winston Churchill.
Matt Smith will play the young Duke of Edinburgh, Philip Mountbatten, opposite Foy, as the pair navigate the clash between public and private that is inevitably brought about by the Queen’s relationship with her husband and her crown. John Lithgow also stars as Churchill.
Justin Time: The New Adventures (Early 2016)
This new show, produced in conjunction with Guru Studio, is based on the international pre-school hit, Justin Time. The show is aimed at three to six year olds and follows the adventures of Justin and his best friends Olive and Squidgy, as they set off on fantastical adventures throughout time.
Cirque du Soleil: Luna Petunia (Autumn 2016)
From Saban Brands and Cirque du Soleil Média comes Luna Petunia, a new preschool series. Inspired by Cirque du Soleil’s unique brand of innovation and creativity, the animated series will chronicle the adventures of Luna Petunia, a girl who lives in our world but plays in a dreamland where she learns how to make the impossible possible.
LEGO®: Bionicle: The Journey to One (Q1 2016)
The LEGO Group will premiere the Netflix original series, LEGO Bionicle: The Journey to One, based on its popular LEGO Bionicle franchise and line of action figures. The new story takes place on the mythical island of Okoto, where the forces of darkness are on the move and the evil Makuta is working to cast the world into darkness. The desperate island inhabitants enlist six heroes – called the Toa – to help save their beloved island. The four-episode season will be available in all Netflix territories in early 2016.
LEGO®: Friends: The Power of Friendship (Q2 2016)
Complementing LEGO Bionicle: The Journey to One, will be a new Netflix original series for kids featuring characters from the popular LEGO Friends line of construction toys. LEGO Friends: The Power of Friendship will follow the adventures of five best friends – Stephanie, Emma, Olivia, Mia and Andrea – around their hometown Heartlake City. From summer camp to the basketball court, saving their webcast or helping take care of a friend, the zany antics, romances and mishaps are made all the better by having their best friends by their side. The four-episode season will premiere worldwide on Netflix in 2016.
The first Brazilian Netflix original series, 3% is directed by Oscar-nominated Cesar Charlone (City of God) and stars João Miguel and Bianca Comparato.
“3% is a dramatic thriller that brings viewers into a world divided into progress and devastation. The once-in-a-lifetime chance to pass to the ‘better side’ is through a cruel – and not always fair – process where only 3% of the candidates succeed,” says Cesar Charlone.
It starts filming in early 2016 and will debut on Netflix later this year.
Little is known about this Netflix original, set for release in 2016. Watch this space.
From This Is Spinal Tap’s Christopher Guest, this film continues Guest’s career of mockumentary comedy, with films such as A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration under his spoof belt. Mascots, which will premiere in 2016, appears to be most similar to Best in Show, which follows a fictional dog show.
The movie is set at the 8th World Mascot Association Championships, where “a group of unusual men and women, with big heads and furry suits, complete to win the prestigious gold fluffy award and be crowned best mascot in the world”.
Netflix has teamed up with Brad Pitt to produce his latest film, a satire called War Machine. Inspired by best-selling book The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan by the late Michael Hastings, War Machine concerns a four star, rock star general, whose lethal reputation and impeccable track record leads him to command the American war in Afghanistan.
Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday
Judd Apatow and star Paul Reuben will produce this feature-length return of Pee-Wee Herman, based on a script by Reubens and Paul Rust (Comedy Bang! Bang!, Arrested Development). Pee-wee’s Big Holiday will follow a fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger, which inspires Pee-wee Herman to take his first-ever holiday.
Chelsea Handler’s Talk Show
The outspoken comedian hosts her own talk show exclusively on Netflix.
This war thriller, starring Jomie Dornan, was picked up by the VOD service at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival and tells the true story of the 1961 siege of a 150-strong Irish UN battalion under Commander Patrick Quinlan (Dornan) by 3000 Congolese troops, led by French and Belgian mercenaries working for mining companies. Guillaume Canet plays a French commander who sought to defeat Quinlan and his men.
Jason Momoa stars in this action-adventure, which follows the chaotic and violent struggle to control wealth and power in the North American fur trade in the late 18th century. The six-episode first season also stars Alun Armstrong (New Tricks) and Zoe Boyle (Sons of Anarchy), and is directed by San Andreas’ Brad Peyton, who also serves as Executive Producer with co-creators Rob Blackie and Peter Blackie. Told from multiple perspectives, the series takes place in a world where business negotiations might be resolved with close-quarter hatchet fights. It is a Discovery Canada production, so it will premiere on Netflix everywhere outside of its home nation.
Stand-up Maria Bamford may be an unknown name for UK audiences, but she has already appeared in Arrested Development Season 4, in which she plays Tobias Funke’s romantic interest, DeBrie Bardeaux. Now, the dysfunctional, self-deprecating comedian has her own comedy series, spanning 13 episodes, exec produced by Mitch Hurwitz, and based on Bamford’s own life.
Marvel’s Luke Cage
After appearing in Jessica Jones, The Good Wife’s Mike Colter returns to take the lead role in his own Marvel series, which continues the run of Netflix co-productions that build up to crossover event show, The Defenders. Cheo Hodari Coker is the series showrunner.
This new drama from Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij marks the first TV show from the regular collaborators. The pair have worked together previously on both Sound of My Voice and The East, with their new project co-written by both and directed by Batmanglij. It will span eight hour-long episodes.
Lemony Snickets’ A Series of Unfortunate Events
Lemony Snicket, produced by Paramount (the studio behind the recent film adaptation), marks a rare addition to Netflix’s live-action family line-up, as the streaming site tells the tale of Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire, three siblings taken in by the nefarious Count Olaf when their parents pass away. Trying to learn the truth behind their parents’ death, their adventures are narrated by Lemony Snicket.
“I can’t believe it,” Snicket himself said, when the TV show was first announced. “After years of providing top-quality entertainment on demand, Netflix is risking its reputation and its success by associating itself with my dismaying and upsetting books.”
Karl Mueller’s thriller follows a man on a weekend retreat that takes a turn for the strange…
XOXO (title TBC)
Set against the backdrop of America’s biggest EDM festival, XOXO follows six strangers whose lives collide in one evening. Written by Dylan Meyer, it marks the directorial debut of creative studio Walter Robot.
The Most Hated Woman in America
Produced by Max Handelman and Elizabeth Banks through Brownstone Productions, The Most Hated Woman in America stars Melissa Leo as Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the atheist activity who was murdered in 1995.
After Better Call Saul and W/ Bob & David, Netflix teams up with Bob Odenkirk once more for this black indie comedy, which stars the actor as a down-on-his-luck greetings card writer, who is framed for murder. Odenkirk co-wrote the script with Philip Zlotorynski and Eric Hoffman.
Chris Sparling, who wrote Ryan Reynolds’ Buried, writes and directs this home invasion thriller, which stars James Wolk of Mad Men and Master of Sex’s Caitlin FitzGerald.
Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan and Jane: Season 1
From 41 Entertainment, Executive Producer Avi Arad (Arad Animation) and with animation from ARC Productions, comes a new series based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ collection of stories about his iconic characters, Tarzan and Jane. In this modern-day remake, 16 year old Tarzan returns from the African jungle to a London boarding school where he is a fish-out-of-water and challenges conformity.
Kulipari: An Army of Frogs
< Kulipari: An Army of Frogs is based on a trilogy of books created by American football star Trevor Pryce and is inspired by his childhood fear of frogs. A story about bravery and heroism, this animated series targets grade school boys and follows poisonous frogs, scorpions and spiders who must go to war to ensure their power – and the survival of their entire world.
The Magic School Bus 360°
Scholastic Media and the Internet TV company will launch an original TV series based on the iconic show of the same title. Called The Magic School Bus 360°, the animated CG series will be a “dynamic reimagining” of the programme, with a modernised Ms. Frizzle.
Trailer Park Boys – Season 10
Canadian Netflix subscribers rejoice! The Trailer Park Boys return for another original series.
One of two new DreamWorks Animations announced for 2016, Guillermo del Toro’s series will “unleash a new, fantastical world wrapped around two best friends who make a startling discovery beneath their hometown”.
Voltron: Defender of the Universe
Another DreamWorks Animations original series, Defender of the Universe will “reimagine” Voltron.
Winx Club WOW – Season 1 & 2
Winx Club WOW: World of Winx will span two seasons and follow the girls embarking on an undercover journey all around the world looking for talented kids in art, sports, music and science. These kids have their own kind of magic, and the Winx Club fairies are enchanted by them, although it doesnt take long before trouble sets in and a new and dangerous mystery arrives for Bloom and the others to solve. Season 1 will be released in earlier 2016 and Season 2 in the autumn.