The Obamas and Netflix Agree to Multi-Year Production Deal

The below is the verbatim press release provided by Netlfix

"Hollywood, Calif., May 21, 2018 -- President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have entered into a multi-year agreement to produce films and series with Netflix, the world’s leading internet entertainment service.

The Obamas will produce a diverse mix of content, including the potential for scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features. These projects will be available to the 125 million member Netflix households in 190 countries.

The Obamas have established Higher Ground Productions as the entity under which they will produce content for Netflix.

“One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life, and to help them share their experiences with a wider audience,” said President Obama. “That’s why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix – we hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world.”

“Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others,” said Mrs. Obama. “Netflix’s unparalleled service is a natural fit for the kinds of stories we want to share, and we look forward to starting this exciting new partnership.”

“Barack and Michelle Obama are among the world’s most respected and highly-recognized public figures and are uniquely positioned to discover and highlight stories of people who make a difference in their communities and strive to change the world for the better,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “We are incredibly proud they have chosen to make Netflix the home for their formidable storytelling abilities.”"

Downstream: Trailer Round-Up for the Week of April 2-8

A light week in terms of trailers this week so let's get into it.

I know that last week, I said that Kodachrome would be the Netflix Original movie to keep your eye on. Well, turns out that for the second week in a row, Netflix has a killer looking movie on the way. The only apprehension that I have towards Cargo is that the producer for The Babadook, I'm not a fan of that movie, is attached to this movie as well.

3% is another one of those foreign language shows that I haven't seen. The general plot seems fairly formulaic, with the general populous upset that 3% of people get to go to live in this utopian society. I've heard it's worth checking out but with so much content on the front and back burners, it'll be awhile until that happens. 

Downstream: Trailer Round-Up for the Week of March 26-April 1

It might have finally happened. This might be the Netflix movie to watch this year. This looks funny and real. It's main three characters are all actors that I like. I'm calling it now. This will be the one to watch.

I never watched the first part of Money Heist, so this doesn't intrigue me. But I can tell that there is probably something I'm missing here. I might go back one day and check it all out but today is not that day.

I don't know who Ram Dass is so this doesn't intrigue me in the least bit. 

That's it. Not all of them have to be paragraphs long. 

I get a very Freaky Friday vibe out of this movie.  This might be a bit of a sleeper hit.

Downstream: Trailer Round-Up for the Week of March 19-23

Amateur has the possibility of being a very good movie if it highlights how broken the basketball recruiting system is. Based on an early look, it might touch on that recruiting system but won't go as far as it will need to go. Maybe the story is truly just about the kid but if left at that, this movie will be completely unremarkable.

The Fast and the Furious meets real life. I'm not sure what the stakes of these races is but if the people are actually interesting, this might be one to watch if you like to watch cars go fast.

This is the movie I'm looking forward to the most right now. The Titan has a chance to be very good but will probably wind-up extremely cliched. But hey, that hasn't stopped Netflix before.

Here we have a trailer that tells me very little about the movie. Apparently, this movie is based on a true story where a bishop starts saying things people don't want to hear and he's labeled a heretic. This is an interesting story, one that may be worth watching, but Netflix needs to start wrangling in some of its trailer editors.

Not so much a trailer but this has me very excited for The Rain. I've been into weird sci-fi lately and this seems like it will continue to scratch the itch.

I was very excited about this show until I did a small amount of research. This is a BBC co-production with Netflix and has for the most part, already aired in the UK. Ratings out of the UK are not positive in the least bit. I'll check out one episode but should it not keep my attention, I'll be moving on rather quickly.

Downstream: Trailer Round-Up for the Week of March 11-16

It's that time of the week where Dan breaks down the Netflix trailers of the week. So sit down with a nice glass of Tin Cup Whiskey and follow along at home.

Happy Anniversary is another foray into the romantic(comedy?) genre from Netflix. It features the love interest from season 1 of Master of None and some dude giving a look at what regular relationships go through as the honeymoon phase ends. For those of you looking into seeing reality in a movie, this is for you. For those of you looking to have ridiculous things happen in a movie and for everything to resolve wonderfully for everyone, skip it.

Edha is an interesting looking show that I have no want to actually watch. While there is certainly intrigue that will definitely drive interest, this show just isn't my type of backdrop.

I'm gonna be honest here, I have no idea what 6 Balloons is even about. Just from the synopsis on the trailer it just seems like a dramatic "hi-jinks ensue" movie. I like Dave Franco and I've heard Abi Jacobson is good in Broad City but this trailer does nothing to grab me.

Paradox looks like a film school project. Daryl Hannah directed this thing, remember her? This is a hard avoid.

Shot just like your favorite Nickelodeon sitcom(Drake & Josh, iCarly) comes Alexa & Katie. As a general rule, I avoid sitcoms shot just like this. That said, there does seem to be some heart behind it, which is what Netflix seems to go for in their sitcoms. So if you're a fan of something a little extra with you comedy shows, check it out.

Dan Gilroy's Untitled Netflix Movie Will Star Jake Gyllenhall and Many Others

Dan Gilroy, writer and director of Nightcrawler, reunites with Jake Gyllenhall in an untitled horror-thriller for Netflix. Among the star-studded ensemble cast are Rene Russo, Zawe Ashton, Natalia Dyer, Tom Sturridge, Daveed Diggs, Toni Collette, John Malkovich, and Billy Magnussen.

The plot of the movie will follow "big-money artists and mega-collectors who pay a high price when art collides with commerce".

Trailer Round-Up for Week of March 5-9

We're gonna try something new with trailers. As opposed to posting every single new one that comes out, we'll instead do a weekly post about all the trailers with an opinion blurb afterwards.

The trailer for Lost in Space is, according to Netflix, "a cross between E.T. and Jurassic Park". I'm not exactly sure where the Jurassic Park comes in after watching the trailer. Overall, Lost in Space looks extremely generic and doesn't have my interest at all.

Next up, we have a date announcement for Season 2 of Luke Cage. Not much substance to this with it only being ~25 seconds but it has me excited for the next part of Luke Cage's story.

Admittedly, I wasn't as high on A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 1 as much as others were. Eventually, I got very tired of Count Olaf disguising himself and characters not believing the Baudelaires even though they were proven right time and time again. While that does seem to continue in Season 2, the gags seems to be evolving so this will still be one I look forward to checking out.

Take Your Pills is all about Adderall and how it's become common place in society amongst twenty-somethings in order to be more productive. It's an interesting dive into a common prescription for ADD and a look at how it's changed us as time has passed.

As a general rule, I don't watch second trailers for anything. It's all up to the first trailer to grab me, and if it doesn't, I pass on something. That said, I present you with the second Game Over, Man! trailer.

Santa Clarita Diet was a pleasant surprise last year. I didn't expect a comedy about a woman becoming a flesh eater to actually be fun. My assumption was that this would die on the vine. Now, here I am, looking forward to Season 2.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was one of my favorite parts of The Get Down. Now he's back in this film about a teenage daughter who joins her high school wrestling team in order to gain his approval. Abdul-Mateen is a compulsively watchable actor so pretty much anything he's in is something I find worth checking out.

The final trailer is for Requiem a series about a woman discovering a connection between her now deceased mother and the unsolved case of a missing child. I'm all for dark thrillers, especially when they seem to have some sci-fi and creepiness attached to them. This is one I'll be looking at for sure.

Netflix Nabs Vigilante Superhero Movie from Russo Brothers

Peter White over at Deadline is reporting that Netflix has won the bidding war over Past Midnight, a movie about  "a new kind of vigilante superhero". 

The feature will be directed by Dope director Rick Famuyiwa and written by TJ Fixman, a writer on the Ratchet & Clank video game series. The Russo Brothers production is also looking to sign Keanu Reeves in the feature's lead role.

 

Netflix Taps Hasan Minhaj for Weekly Talk Show

Netflix has picked up another Daily Show alum for another foray into the talk show world.

Hasan Minhaj is set to host his own weekly talk show on Netflix that will debut later this year. Netflix has given Minhaj a large vote of confidence, committing to a 32 episode order, which will make Minhaj the first Indian-American host of a weekly comedy talk show.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Netflix family as the country braces for another election season. And like you, I cannot wait to find out who Putin picks this time.” Minhaj joked.

Minhaj first broke onto the national scene when he joined The Daily Show with Jon Stewart back in November 2014. Minhaj will remain on The Daily Show through the end of July, before beginning production on his new project. Minhaj also earned praise for his one-hour Netflix comedy special Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King, and for his performance hosting the 2017 White House Correspondents' Dinner.

Bela Bajaria, Vice President of Content for Netflix said “I’ve been a big fan of Hasan’s for many years. He’s a phenomenal writer with a distinct point of view. He is a brilliant performer, who is hilarious both on stage and off, and more importantly he isn’t afraid to share his thoughtful voice and unique perspective. We are so excited to bring his new talk series to Netflix members around the world.”

Netflix Aims to have 700 Total Series, Movies in 2018

CFO David Wells spoke at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference on Tuesday saying that Netflix will have nearly 700 series and movies, in total, in 2018. This is made possible by Netflix spending $8 billion in 2018 alone on content. Wells believes that by having a large content base, the subscriber base will also increase.

Opinion: While Netflix's approach will drive early growth, sustaining your numbers will become difficult with this approach. Netflix's people are definitely smarter than I am so they no doubt know that they will have to switch their approach at some point to be quality-first instead of quantity first.

Chuck Lorre's 'Disjointed' Cancelled After One Season

Sitcom "titan" Chuck Lorre has struck out with Disjointed. The show has been cancelled after one season at Netflix.

Disjointed originally had a two season, twenty episode order.  However, critics had rated Season 1 Part 1 as the worst television show of the summer. Part 2 of Season 1 arrived on January 12 to little fanfare. And now a month later, the show is done.

'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Season 4 to be Released in Two Parts

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 4 has indeed been broken...up into two parts.

The season will release its first 6 episodes on May 30, with the remainder of the season to be released later in 2018.

Netflix usually posts the complete season in order for subscribers to watch the content at their own pace. It's a strange move but should it prove successful, Netflix may continue the trend.