Starting as just another humble DVD rental service, Netflix changed the game when its streaming service became the company’s main focus. Not content with simply hosting other studios’ offerings, they started producing their own stuff, taking chances on TV shows and movies that may not have been given the time of day by risk-averse networks and cable companies.
As a result, Netflix has become an entertainment powerhouse, responsible for bankrolling some of the Peak TV era’s most popular and talked about shows.
With the recent announcement that Netflix plans to release 80 original movies in 2018 alone– not counting the new and returning binge-worthy TV series also slated to appear on the service next year– we felt that it was probably a good idea to showcase some of the big N’s line-up for the foreseeable future.
So, stock up on snacks and clear your social calendar, here are the 20 Netflix Originals You Didn’t Know Were Coming In 2018.
People who enjoyed movies like Moon, Warcraft and Source Code may be happy to know that they won’t have to travel far to see Duncan Jones’ next project. In Netflix exclusive sci-fi thriller Mute, Alexander Skarsgard plays a mute bartender named Leo Beiler.
Leo’s girlfriend goes missing and he’s forced to rove the futuristic city of immigrants to find her. In his search, he comes across two American surgeons (Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux), who are described as “the only recurring clue” to his girlfriend’s disappearance
From the scant few images that have been released of Mute, it looks like it’s going to be a visual stunner. Duncan Jones was apparently going for a cross between Blade Runner and Casablanca and the influences are very noticeable.
Jones has described Mute as a spiritual successor to Moon, which should make fans of the director’s earlier work very happy indeed. If all that’s got your sci-fi senses tingling, then keep your eyes peeled for it next year.
19. Stranger Things Season 3
It should serve as no shock that Stranger Things is coming back for another season. It’s one of the biggest shows out there and has attracted critical praise and awards aplenty, garnering a passionate and dedicated fanbase along the way.
As we’re sure many of you are aware, a third season of the show was officially confirmed by Netflix a few days ago. There was no release date attached to the announcement, but it seems probable that it will hit screens at the end of next year.
Judging by the length of time between Seasons 1 and 2, a late 2018 release date would make sense. Fans are understandably eager for the next instalment, especially considering some of the burning questions left by season 2’s finale, but you can’t rush quality.
Netflix’s upcoming Maniac certainly has some big names attached to it. The dark comedy will star Jonah Hill and Emma Stone as two patients of a mental institution.
The series will revolve around the rich fantasy worlds the pair create for themselves. Cary Fukunaga, the man who masterminded the first season of True Detective and adapted the hugely successful IT remake, will direct the series and it has great potential considering the talent involved.
We know that Hill and Stone have an easy chemistry with one another– especially after they appeared in Superbad together– so this one could be an essential watch.
We’re still waiting on a poster or a trailer, but Hill has already been snapped on set with a several unique looks. In one, he has a long braid and finger tattoos, while in the other (seen above), he’s a mulleted football fan accompanied by Barbie-blonde Emma.
Perhaps it’s like Quantum Leap but with bad hair. In any case, the series will debut next year.
17. New seasons of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist
Now that Marvel/Netflix’s The Defenders has come and gone, many were wondering what the future holds for the small-screen heroes. If you thought that the Marvel machine was going to stop turning after one measly team up, you haven’t been paying attention.
As it turns out, each and every one of the superpowered team are getting a new series, starting with Jessica Jones Season 2 which started filming back to back with The Defenders.
As the second season of Luke Cage recently wrapped, we can assume that it will follow, which is great news for fans of the hard-hitting Harlem hero. As far as the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen and the Immortal Iron Fist, (sworn protector of K’un-Lun) go, they’re still slated for vague 2018 release dates, but details are thin on the ground.
We do know that Iron Fist has a new showrunner this time round, possibly indicating a change in direction for the series in answer to the show’s critics. In Daredevil news, Vincent D’Onofrio is confirmed to be reprising his role as Kingpin / Wilson Fisk.
16. Eggplant Emoji
Thankfully not an Emoji Movie spin-off, Eggplant Emoji has a decidedly family unfriendly approach. It’s an R-rated dark comedy about a teenager who accidentally severs his reproductive organ while on a camping trip.
After the traumatic incident, the unfortunate teen and his buddies face a race against time to get it reattached. We’re pretty sure that this wins the prize for the most eye-catching (or perhaps eye watering) premise on here.
Several studios clearly thought so too. The script started a bidding war in which Netflix eventually triumphed, winning distribution rights. The movie is a co-production between the Workaholics guys and Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Films, meaning it’s got some proper comedic heft behind it.
It’s certainly got potential, and we’re sure that the insane plot alone will draw in a ton of viewers. No concrete release date exists yet, but it’s slated to appear sometime in 2018.
Netflix apparently grabbed the rights for Cargo after a mere three minute presentation, so expectations are high for this Australian zombie movie. Cargo is a feature-length adaptation of a seven minute short made for Tropfest 2013. The clip is viewable online here and has amassed an awesome 13.8 million views and counting.
Martin Freeman will star as an infected father who has to traverse the apocalyptic outback in search of a safe home for his infant daughter. The short managed to be a solid gutpunch to the feels, so we can’t imagine how we’re going to feel after 90+ minutes.
The movie is produced by the people behind The Babadook and looks to be an emotional rollercoaster. If the mention of the admittedly overdone zombies has you concerned, Martin Freeman was clear to differentiate between the two things, saying that he wouldn’t have signed on to do a simple “zombie film.” We can’t wait for Cargo to drop.
14. Lost in Space
Rebooting an old series is a dangerous prospect, but that hasn’t stopped Netflix from commissioning a remake of classic ’60s sci-fi show Lost in Space. The first season is scheduled to drop in May 2018 and has a solid cast including Toby Stephens as patriarch John Robinson and Parker Posey as a gender-swapped Dr. Smith.
In case you didn’t know the premise – a family of space explorers crash on an unknown planet during a mission and are marooned there.
Details are sketchy, but this reimagining seems to be more straight-faced affair than the original with star Toby Stephens promising a more “modern” take on proceedings.
In an interview, he spoke highly of the original show but said “If you look at it now, it’s charming, but it seems so innocent. Whereas this is a version that is for our time. I’m hoping it will still have humor and humanity in it, but it has obviously gotta be for a modern audience.”
It’s worth remembering that the last time a darker reboot of the source material was attempted, audiences got the wretched ’90s Matt LeBlanc movie, but we trust Netflix to get it right this time.
13. Troy: Fall of a City
If you want a sword-and-sandals epic to binge on, Netflix has got you covered. Troy: Fall of a City sees Netflix and the BBC team up for a big historical fantasy miniseries based on the Trojan War.
Even better, it comes from the writer of the critically acclaimed The Night Manager, starring Tom Hiddleston. It’ll also have several episodes directed by Owen Harris, the man behind the camera for one of Black Mirror‘s highest rated stories– San Junipero.
According to a press release, the miniseries is “is a rich story of love, intrigue, betrayal and belonging. Combining thrilling adventure with heart-breaking intimacy, it conveys the big themes of human existence and identity; of people battling to retain their sense of humanity and compassion amid the devastation and destruction of war.”
Sounds awesome to us. The Trojan War is classic source to draw from and done right, this could be an historical fantasy epic to rival some of the genre’s best.
Netflix has stepped up its game in Latin America in recent years, and their greenlighting of horror series Diablero marks their 50th original Latin American production. Based on F.G. Haghenbeck’s book El Diablo me obligo (The Devil Forced Me), the Spanish language series has an awesome concept.
Shot entirely in Mexico, the show is about Father Ramiro Ventura, a fallen alcoholic priest who enlists the help of a diablero – a demon hunter named Elvis Infante. The duo become a trio with the addition of Nancy Gama, described as “a modern day superhero.”
The team then have to fight for the very fate of mankind. If a dark but occasionally comedic supernatural battle between angels and demons sounds like your bag, you may want to add this one to your personal lists. It’s slated for a worldwide release sometime next year and definitely has the potential to be a ton of fun.
Good news everyone! Fans with a Futurama-shaped hole in their hearts may have a new favorite show. The Simpsons and Futurama creator Matt Groening has shaken hands with the big N, and Groening’s newest project, Disenchantment, will hit the streaming service next year.
The animated series focuses on Bean, an alcoholic princess who lives in the crumbling kingdom of Dreamland along with Elfo, her elf and “personal demon” Luci.
According to Groening, “Disenchantment will be about life and death, love and sex, and how to keep laughing in a world full of suffering and idiots, despite what the elders and wizards and other jerks tell you.”
The show boasts an impressive cast, with Abbi Jacobson voicing the princess, Nat Faxon as her elf, and Eric Andre as Luci. Pretty much the entire Futurama voice cast have roles too, which is a big bonus. Netflix has ordered 20 episodes, with the first 10 airing at some point in 2018.
10. The Rain
There’s been a big surge of international interest in Scandinavian thrillers or “Nordic Noir” in the past ten years. Netflix are doubling down on the whole thing with The Rain, their first Scandinavian original production.
The series is a post-apocalyptic tale of two siblings who make their way across the devastated Scandinavia, which had most of its population wiped out by a deadly virus. People wanting a bingeable Hunger Games style killfest may want to look elsewhere, because the creators are aiming for something a little deeper than that.
Series creator and the mind behind Borgen, Jannik Tai Mosholt is quoted as saying “In broad terms, The Rain is a story about hope and finding out what there is to hope for when all hope seems gone. It’s a story about responsibility and whether survival is about the individual or the group.”
“It’s a story about humanity and what defines us as humans. And it’s a story about experiencing everything for the first time in a world where there’s no-one to tell you how to react. Love, hate, sadness, joy and hope” he said. Here’s hoping the series lives up to it.
9. Everything Sucks!
If endless rewatchings of Friends and Fuller House aren’t quite scratching your ’90s nostalgia itch, then Everything Sucks! just might. Set in Oregon in the halcyon days of 1996, Everything Sucks! is about the clashing of a high school’s two societies, the A/V Club and the Drama Club, and their mismatched personalities.
When questioned as to precisely why they set their show in the era of the Spice Girls, Independence Day, and Tickle-Me Elmo, show creators Ben York Jones and Michael Mohan had some interesting thoughts: “Some of our favorite shows of all time —The Wonder Years, Happy Days, That 70s Show, Freaks and Geeks— looked back at bygone eras with 20 years of hindsight.”
“We think this is a great time to take a look back at high school and relive the fashion, music, and attitudes of the mid-’90’s the way we remember it. Not sensationalized, not watered down; but desperate, heartfelt, awkward, and exciting,” they said. Sounds sweet, dudes.
8. A Futile and Stupid Gesture
Netflix are diving into comedy biopic territory with A Futile and Stupid Gesture, a movie based on the rise and fall of the legendary National Lampoon.
The movie stars Will Forte as writer Doug Kenney and features a whole host of familiar faces playing other familiar faces. John Gemberling will play John Belushi, Seth Green will be Christopher Guest and Jon Daly will be Bill Murray.
Perhaps best of all is Joel McHale as Chevy Chase, a part he has had a ton of training for after years of acting opposite the man himself on Community. David Wain, director of Role Models and Wet Hot American Summer (and the Netflix prequel series), will helm with a ever-vague 2018 date.
The story itself, about how National Lampoon started as a unassuming comedy magazine and became a media empire that changed American comedy in its own right is a fascinating one and will hopefully be well worth the watch.
7. Dogs of Berlin
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Netflix wants world domination– at least in the entertainment sphere. As their second German co-production after Dark, which premiered on the service last week, Dogs of Berlin is a gritty cop drama about two contrasting police officers forced to work together when they get involved in a heated territorial battle amongst Berlin’s criminal underworld.
Things aren’t obviously as clear-cut as that as our detectives are taken to their moral breaking points and must question which side of the law they’re on.
With the Christian Alvart, director of the brain-bending Pandorum at the helm, this could be a seriously gripping piece of work. If it lives up to its billing, it could hit that dramatic sweet spot, with the “just one more” quality that all great Netflix shows share.
What could be a standard cop story is made ten times more interesting by the choice of setting and culture, but only time will tell as to how it all plays out.
A Brazilian comedy may not be your first port of call when you boot up Netflix, but you never know until you’ve tried it. Samantha! is the story of Samantha (unsurprisingly), a former child star.
After having success in the ’80s, Samantha has fallen out of the limelight and is eager for another taste of fame and fortune. She embarks on a number of harebrained schemes to recapture glory, but from the sounds of it, rarely succeeds. To complicate matters further, her former soccer star husband is released from prison and returns home to his family after ten years behind bars.
The formula may seem a little trite, but Samantha! could be a whole new look at the idea of celebrity, fame and wealth due to its unique viewpoint. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings spoke highly of the show, saying that Samantha! (and yes, the exclamation mark is part of the title) is the “kind of content that will spread Brazilian culture around the world.”
5. Altered Carbon
Based on the novel of the same name, Altered Carbon imagines a world 500 years in the future where death is no longer the end. Technology has advanced to the point where human consciousnesses can be downloaded into a new body, allowing the wealthy to live forever.
We follow Private Investigator Kovacs (played by both Will Yun Lee and Joel Kinnaman), who is reawoken in a new body centuries after his death to solve the murder of a billionaire.
Unusually for this list, we have a trailer and a release date for this one. From what we’ve seen so far, it certainly looks promising. Altered Carbon is also rumored to be one of the most expensive shows Netflix has produced, so they’ll be hoping this is a massive hit for them.
The series will hit on February 2nd, 2018, meaning that cyberpunk fans won’t have too much longer to wait to get immersed in Altered Carbon‘s world.
4. Game Over, Man!
In what looks to be basically Workaholics with a roomy Netflix budget, Game Over, Man! is the service’s first collaboration with Adam Devine, Blake Anderson, and Anders Holm (the second being Eggplant Emoji).
The conceit of Game Over, Man! is that our lead trio are game developers near to getting their video game financed. Tragedy strikes when their benefactor is taken hostage by terrorists. The three combine forces and attempt to save their meal ticket.
The brief trailer is a funny skit, but doesn’t reveal any plot details at all, making it difficult to gauge what shape the final product is in. Fans of Workaholics should be right at home with the humor and style considering both projects share a lot of the same cast and crew.
Game Over, Man! is scheduled for a release date of 4/20/2018, because fans of the cult Comedy Central show wouldn’t expect anything less from the trio.
Continuing its takeover of Europe, Osmosis is a French Netflix collaboration. The series will be a big budget remake of a French sci-fi of the same name. In near future Paris, a new dating app called Osmosis has the ability to match people with 100% success rate.
The catch? It does a deep dive of your brain’s data, mining your mind of all your secrets and deepest desires. Is the price of an algorithmically “perfect” soulmate worth giving up all of your innermost thoughts and feelings to a faceless corporation?
Osmosis certainly doesn’t look like its going to shy away from some of the big questions some of the best examples of science fiction attempt to answer.
With a killer concept, a talented crew and some genuinely intriguing ideas at play, Osmosis could be the French answer to some of Netflix’s own sci-fi greats like Black Mirror, except maybe not quite as bleak.
If you’re up on martial arts movies, you’ll have probably heard of the bone-crunchingly good The Raid 1 and 2, directed by Gareth Evans. Whilst purists dread the announced U.S. remake, there is some solace to be had. Netflix has acquired the rights to period revenge thriller Apostle, Evans’ next project.
The movie stars Dan Stephens, Michael Sheen, and Lucy Boynton. Set in 1905, Apostle is about Thomas Richardson (Stephens), a man who travels to a remote island in search of his missing sister.
He discovers that she’s been kidnapped by a mysterious cult. The cult picked the wrong family to mess with and Richardson tears through them to get to his sibling.
Whilst Dan Stephens was eager to downplay comparisons to The Raid movies, he called Evans “the Welsh Tarantino” and stated that, while there will be action, it won’t as be as “relentless” as the director’s previous works. Evans is a real action talent, so here’s hoping Apostle is something special.
1. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
The name “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” may not inspire too much confidence, but when we tell you that it’s directed by the legendary Coen Brothers, you may change your tune. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a Western anthology series and marks the first time either brother has written or directed for TV.
Being a Western, this is firmly in the Coens’ wheelhouse and should be a quality production. The series will star James Franco and Tim Blake Nelson as Buster and promise to tell six different stories about the Frontier.
In a statement, Netflix were understandably excited about bringing the Coens on board, praising the brothers. In a joint statement of their own, the Coens had a much more pointed and brief response: “We are streaming motherf***ers!”
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs will almost certainly be one of the most discussed shows of next year, so you may as well save time and prepare to book a few days off when the release date is revealed.
Which of these Netflix Originals are you most excited for? Are there any others coming out that you want to see? Let us know in the comments!
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