A trailer for delayed sci-fi drama Extinction has finally landed ahead of the movie’s debut on Netflix this July. Extinction stars Michael Peña (Ant-Man And The Wasp) as Peter, a family man who has recurring dreams about an invading alien force that arrives and starts to wipe out humanity. Naturally, his family and friends - including Lizzy Caplan and Luke Cage’s Mike Colter - chalk this up to stress, but when the invasion starts happening for real, Peter may be their only hope.
It’s an intriguing setup - even if it’s not a completely original one. Extinction was pulled from Universal’s release slate with little fanfare in 2017, with no new release date forthcoming. It was later announced Netflix had bought the title. While Universal deciding to sell the movie isn’t necessarily a sign of its quality, it does suggest the studio was concerned about its chances commercially. Paramount famously pulled a similar tactic when they were worried The Cloverfield Paradox would bomb if released in cinemas and sold it to Netflix as a high-profile exclusive. While the reviews were very mixed, the hype around its sudden release saw it reach high viewing figures.
Hopefully, that won’t be the case with Extinction, whose trailer was released by Netflix, and boasts a great cast with a potentially rich story setup. After years of stealing scenes in films starring other performers, it's nice to see Peña get a chance to lead a big movie, and the trailer features a couple of tense set pieces. It also looks a little lower budget than the average blockbuster, however, and it doesn’t really have a ‘must-see’ quality either. Take a look at the poster for Extinction as well:
In truth, Universal was probably just playing it safe by passing the project on to Netflix, which has become a haven for other studio orphaned movies. The same thing happened with sci-fi action movie Spectral and to a lesser extent with Natalie Portman’s Annihilation. While that movie got a domestic release it went straight to Netflix worldwide, but it still received great reviews, and may well be regarded as a future classic of the genre.
Time will tell what the verdict will be on Extinction, but Netflix continues to reign supreme as a brand. With Bright, they boldly announced their move into the blockbuster business - which is paying off nicely for them - and the streaming giant is expected to have spent over $12 billion on producing content in 2018 alone.
Extinction will be available to stream on Netflix July 27.