Not a week goes by without the launch of at least one "Netflix Original." Usually, it's many more than that. Series, movies, documentaries, comedy specials, and even shows that aren't actually Netflix-produced but licensed to the company in specific countries all fall under the "Netflix Original" banner. Where traditional TV stations are often wise to aim for quality over quantity, Netflix has the means to invest in such an immense quantity of programming that they can truly make something for everyone. A lot of their programming is frankly junk food, but it's junk food people watch. Many others are well above the "junk food" level and earn your full attention during the weekend binge, even if you don't ponder them much afterward. If you're lucky, you get a Bojack Horseman or an Orange is the New Black or a Roma, the truly original works that make an impact.
Given just how much programming Netflix produces and acquires, we can't list out every new series and movie coming to the streaming platform in 2019. Nor, given how little gets scheduled far in advance, do we know if all the Netflix Originals on this list will even launch in 2019. Some of the entries on this list with "to be determined" release dates seem somewhat unlikely to come out this year, but we're including them because they instill a stronger "can't wait" or "ready to hate" response than other Originals we know are coming sooner but also know less about. For 2019 and possibly beyond, here are 20 Netflix Originals (both series and movies) we can't wait for, and 10 we're already prepared to hate.
To ease the wait until the next season of Bojack Horseman (and hopefully give us a new favorite to look forward to when Bojack inevitably ends,) Netflix is premiering Tuca & Bertie on May 3. Created by Bojack character designer Lisa Hanawalt, this adult animated comedy stars Tiffany Hadish as Tuca, an outgoing Tucan, and Ali Wong as her anxious songbird roommate Bertie.
At the very least, we expect this show to be hilarious, with fun animation and a great voice cast. Will it also plumb the depths of painful emotion that Bojack did or does this show have different goals? Either way, cartoon fans should be excited for this.
Some sort of Dark Crystal sequel or prequel or whatever has been in the works for decades now. Sometime this year, fans of Jim Henson's dark puppetry epic will finally get to enjoy the full ten-episode prequel series on Netflix, titled The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.
From the previews, the puppetry looks absolutely gorgeous. Will the story be any good? We hope so, but frankly the bar's already kind of low (outstanding artistry aside, the original movie's kind of boring.) At the very least, this show should equal the original movie, and we wouldn't be surprised if it surpasses it.
Remember all the controversy that occurred when Jerry Media, the company responsible for the Fyre Fest scam, had final say on Netflix's Fyre documentary and tried to make themselves look innocent of the scam? When the Goop docu-series comes out, imagine all that all over again but way worse, because not only is a scammer company making this series, but unlike Jerry Media, they don't even acknowledge the scam exists.
Yes, Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow's "wellness" company, is getting its own series. The company that has made over 50 false health claims according to consumer group Truth in Advertising and had to pay out a $145,000 settlement over faulty products is getting to advertise its pseudioscientific nonsense on Netflix.
Our Planet is the entry on this list with the shortest wait to see as of this publication. The eight part nature documentary series from David Attenborough and the rest of the team behind BBC's Planet Earth will be available to stream worldwide on April 5.
If you like Planet Earth and similar nature shows, this should definitely be on your radar. Netflix has been seriously promoting Our Planet, even getting an ad on the Super Bowl. Four years in the making and shot on all seven continents, the cinematography looks gorgeous, and the series hopes to spark conversations about global conservation.
Even if A Wrinkle in Time was something of a misfire, Ava Duvernay has earned enough goodwill from films like Selma and 13th to get us excited for anything she's attached to. Her next project with Netflix looks like an especially powerful one, a four episode limited series about the Central Park Five case titled When They See Us.
The series follows the true story of five Harlem teenagers falsely convicted of a horrible crime in 1989 up to their exoneration in 2014. DuVernay is directing and co-writing every episode. The trailer alone might make you cry. Ready yourself emotionally for when the series finally drops on May 31.
How do you make this TV show? Does anybody want to know? The book is great, but it's one note. A series would get truly rote, unless, of course, they pad it out and change what it is all about. But why on Earth would you pad Seuss? The simple genius you would lose. Even with staff who went to Yale, this Netflix show seems sure to fail. Seuss hasn't worked at feature-length. A series? What else could we think?
We would not stream this on our phone. We would not stream this show alone. We would not stream it on TV, though Netflix will stream globally. We doubt we'll like Green Eggs and Ham. We doubt we'll like it, Sam I Am.
Netflix surprised everyone last April with Aggretsuko, an advertisement for cutesy Sanrio merchandise that also happened to be a biting commentary on life as a twentysomething woman working an office job. We'll see if Netflix can recapture that "cute mascots + short episodes + adult woman concerns" magic with Rilakkuma and Kaoru, premiering on April 19.
It certainly looks good. Unusual for Japanese anime, the animation is done in stop motion. It's adorable, with the extra marketing bonus that the bear characters actually look like the physical toys. The trailer sells the show as "10 minutes to just relax," and it seems like it's well suited to succeed at that goal.
Carol & Tuesday is one of those anime that's a "Netflix Original" in name only, airing first on Japanese TV in Spring before an eventual Netflix release sometime in the Summer. The waits for these Netflix-licensed anime can be annoying to fans used to Crunchyroll, FUNimation, and Amazon simulcasting everything. In this case, though, we suspect the wait will be worth it.
Pretty much all you need to know about Carol & Tuesday is that it's the new show from Shinichiro Watanabe, the director of Cowboy Bebop. Carol & Tuesday finds him returning to outer space, but it seems the most relevant comparison in his filmography isn't Bebop but Kids on the Slope, as this is another music-themed coming of age drama.
Like Green Eggs & Ham, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a wonderful book that seems like a bad choice for a TV adaptation. It's that way, of course, for opposite reasons. Where Green Eggs & Ham is too simple to imagine working as an ongoing series, Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude is too complicated and detailed and weird to imagine anyone adapting it properly.
To be fair, Netflix just announced this series in February and we don't even know any of the directors or writers yet (this is one of those list entries that's here more for the emotional reaction than any likelihood of seeing it this year.) We'd love it if this was a masterpiece, but our expectations are low.
Netflix failed to win a Best Picture Oscar with Roma, but they're trying for the gold again this year. Barring one of the other films on this list being a surprise phenomenon, it seems their Oscar hopes are riding on Martin Scorcese's The Irishman, which Netflix wants to give an actual wide theatrical release before it hits the streaming service.
Starring Robert DeNiro as Frank Sheeran and Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa, The Irishman has been in development for years. With a budget of $200 million, it's the most expensive film Scorcese's ever made. Much of that money is going into de-aging effects to make the stars look 30 years younger in flashbacks.
Steven Soderbergh, the prolific director who just can't stop working after his brief "retirement," already has a new film streaming on Netflix this year: the acclaimed sports drama High Flying Bird. Come awards season, he has yet another Netflix movie coming out: the Panama Papers drama The Laundromat.
Just a couple years after she earned her 21st Oscar nomination for another "papers"-based true journalism story in The Post, Meryl Streep is headlining The Laundromat's all-star cast. Should we expect nomination number 22 for Hollywood's most celebrated actress? Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas and, uh, Alex Pettyfer and David Schwimmer are also starring.
If not for the need to fill up word counts, we could easily just write the words "Happy Madison" and leave it at that for our explanation of why Murder Mystery, hitting Netflix on June 12, is probably not going to be very good. Adam Sandler has acted in good movies, but movies from his production company Happy Madison are almost never worth watching.
Sandler seems like a nice enough guy, and you can't blame him for wanting to take fancy vacations with his friends. That's what most Happy Madison films are: excuses for vacations (Murder Mystery's plot hinges on a trip through Europe.) That doesn't make them fun to watch, however. There's at least three more Happy Madison Netflix films after this.
Yeah, Henry Cavill's wig is bad in the first publicity still for The Witcher. That, combined with the bad track record for video game adaptations, is enough that it's understandable why for some this is already in the "ready to hate" pile.
Still, we want to be optimistic. One early publicity photo doesn't represent a show's whole production value. Those worried about the video game adaptation curse should note that A) Netflix was able to break said curse with Castlevania, and B) The Witcher isn't technically based on the video game series, but on Andrzej Sapkowski's original novels. Best case scenario: this ends up a worthy way to fill the hole left by Game of Thrones.
This is another show we're not certain will be great but is probably worth giving a chance. Ryan Murphy's TV series, including Glee, American Horror Story, American Crime Story, and Pose, vary wildly in quality, but even when his stuff's bad, it's interestingly bad, and when it's good, we love it. The Politician is his first show for Netflix.
The series stars Dear Evan Hansen's Ben Platt as Payton Hobart, an ambitious political candidate who will face a different election each season. The supporting cast includes Jessica Lange, Gwyneth Paltrow, Zoe Deutch, and guest appearances by Bette Midler and Judith Light.
Here's one positive thing we can say about the next Michael Bay movie: at least it's not Transformers 6. Also, Ryan Reynolds is reuniting with his Deadpool screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, so maybe it will have a better sense of humor than most Michael Bay films.
That said, Six Underground is still a Michael Bay film, and by now we all know what that means: impressive technical acumen wasted on weak storytelling with an unpleasant misanthropic worldview. It's also kind of weird seeing a Bay film going to Netflix when one of Bay's greater strengths is his sense of true big screen scale.
Raising Dion, about an African-American single mother dealing with her son developing superpowers, started as a comic by Dennis Liu. At the same time he released the comic in 2015, Liu also made a live-action trailer. That trailer went viral, and soon Netflix came calling with a straight-to-series 10 episode order.
Superhero shows are a dime a dozen, but this seems like a fresh take on the genre. Michael B. Jordan is executive producing the series, the second TV show for his Outlier Society production company after the animated gen:LOCK. He'll also play Mark Reese the deceased scientist husband of Nicole and father of Dion.
Hulu might dominate dystopian television with The Handmaid's Tale, but if you want more horrifying visions of the near-future, you might want to check out Leila, a new series coming to Netflix on June 14. The source novel by Prayaag Akbar was highly acclaimed, winning India's Crossword Book Award and shortlisted for the Hindu Literary Prize.
Taking place in a segregated future India, Leila is about a Hindu woman who falls in love with a Muslim man and has to risk everything to rescue her missing daughter. Comparisons to other dystopian stories are easy to make, but distinctive culture perspective should make it stand out.
When major studios sell a film to Netflix, that's usually not a good sign. It typically means the film's a mediocrity akin to The Cloverfield Paradox, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, or Extinction. The big exception to the rule, the brilliant Annihilation, was only sold in international territories and still got a theatrical release in the US.
Given that precedent, we're worried about Eli, a horror movie which Paramount Pictures sold off to Netflix for a 2019 release. Supposedly the film has gotten positive test screening scores and is only given to Netflix because Paramount isn't sure how to sell a film without big name stars. Given horror is the easiest genre to sell without famous actors, however, forgive our suspicions something else is up.
Anime fans have been waiting for Cannon Busters for a long time now. LeSean Thomas, an American animator for The Boondocks and Legend of Korra, and Japanese studio Satellite crowdfunded the post-apocalyptic adventure pilot on Kickstarter in 2014. Backers got to see the pilot in 2016 but there was no release to the public.
In 2017, Netflix ordered a full 12 episode series of Cannon Busters, and in 2018, announced a March 1, 2019 release. That date has come and gone, with no news on how the series is progressing. Hopefully, it doesn't take forever to enjoy this gorgeous-looking international collaboration.
Netflix has a ton of exciting animated movies in the coming years. We can't wait for Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio and Henry Selick's Wendell and Wild in 2021, and are curious if Taika Waititi's Bubbles can still be made to work in a post-Leaving Neverland world. First up from Netflix Animation is Klaus, coming out this holiday season.
This comedic Santa origin story comes from Sergio Pablos, a former Disney designer who's gone on to create the characters for Despicable Me and Smallfoot. Showing confidence in the film's quality, Netflix is going to give Klaus a theatrical release to qualify it for the Best Animated Feature Oscar.
How do you make a prequel to Z Nation, the SyFy zombie series mainly enjoyed for its ridiculous camp? Black Summer's answer: remove the camp, and just make it another serious Walking Dead wannabe. In other words, get rid of the only thing that distinguished this franchise in the first place.
Maybe Black Summer turns out to be a good Walking Dead wannabe, but how are we supposed to have high expectations for a show produced by The Asylum, the company whose greatest artistic achievement has been Sharknado of all things? We'll find out on April 11 if our fears are well-founded or if they've somehow leveled up in quality.
We liked Steven Moffat's Jekyll, loved his and Russell T. Davies' Sherlock until it jumped the shark, and our feelings are all over the place Moffat's Doctor Who years. Despite the ups and downs in their work, though, we'd be excited for whatever Moffat and Davis decided to do next. It turns out that's going to be a Dracula miniseries for Netflix.
Claes Bang (pictured above) is set to play the famous vampire. Differing from Bram Stoker's novel and other adaptations, this three episode series is set to be told entirely from Dracula's perspective, dealing with how this monster is able to envision himself as the hero in his own story.
Mark Millar is one of those comic authors whose work people either really love or really hate. Despite their divisive content, cinematic adaptations of his work like Kick-Ass and Kingsman have proven hugely successful, a major factor in Netflix's decision to ink a major production deal with Millarworld.
First up of the Netflix/Millarworld projects is a TV series of the Mark Millar/Frank Quitely comic Jupiter's Legacy. The series is a multi-generational saga about young superheroes struggling with the legacy of their elders. Steven S. DeKnight, creator of Starz's Spartacus and showrunner for the first season of Daredevil, is in charge of the adaptation.
Here's our one positive thing to say about the announced Bright sequel: at least it's not being written by the first movie's screenwriter, Max Landis. Good for the people at Trigger Warning Entertainment somehow having higher moral standards about who they'll employ than the producers of Landis' upcoming "feminist" comeback film Shadow in the Cloud.
Beyond that, there's nothing appealing about another Bright movie. The first one was a success for Netflix in terms of viewership (though Netflix's lack of transparency means we don't have hard stats,) but it was a weak film with nonsensical world-building, poorly done action and lazy attempts at social commentary.
Cartoon Network's loss is Netflix's gain. Twelve Forever, created by Julia Vickerman, had one of the better publicly-released pilots made at Cartoon Network Studios, but when CN passed on the show, Netflix picked it up with an intended release date sometime in 2019.
The show, like the pilot, follows Reggie, a girl who's scared of growing up and creates a fantasy world in which she can be, as the title says, 12 forever. The series is being animated by Puny Entertainment, the same studio that made Danger & Eggs for Amazon, and like that show, there have been promises of queer-inclusive content amidst the comic-adventure wackiness.
Guillermo Del Toro's Tales of Arcadia trilogy with Dreamworks TV Animation will be coming to a close in 2019 with Wizards, a show many will be excited about. As much as we're looking forward to that, however, we're even more hyped for Del Toro's other announced Netflix series, 10 After Midnight.
10 After Midnight, a collection of horror stories hand-picked by Del Toro himself and directed by him and a host of other horror greats, promises to join Black Mirror, Love Death and Robots, and the new Twilight Zone in what could be a new Golden Age for genre anthologies. Production was announced to begin soon as of February so it's not impossible we could see this by the end of the year.
Hatewatchers, this one is on you. It's hard to find anyone who actually liked the first of Netflix's Death Note movies. The hatred it received from film critics was only exceeded by the hatred it got from fans of the original manga. Nobody watched the first movie expecting it to be good. People mainly wanted to see if it was as much of a train wreck as everyone else was claiming.
However, Netflix doesn't care if you like or dislike the movies you watch. They only care that you watch them. It seems there were enough people "ironically" watching the American Death Note movie that Netflix deemed it profitable to green-light a sequel. We hope you're happy, hatewatchers.
Shakespeare adaptations can go any number of ways. Abridging Shakespeare especially can be a risk. David Michôd's upcoming film The Crown is going the super-abridged route, combining three plays (Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 and Henry V) into one movie. Of course, Orson Welles was able to combine those three plays and throw in material from Richard II and The Merry Wives of Windsor for Chimes at Midnight, and that film's a masterpiece, so there's a model for this succeeding.
Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment is producing the film. The cast includes Timothée Chalamet as Henry V, Ben Mendelsohn as Henry IV, Joel Edgerton as Falstaff, and Robert Pattinson as The Dauphin.
Netflix can be a controversial topic among major film directors. One director who is firmly pro-Netflix is Dees Rees. After her breakout 2011 indie Pariah, she wasn't finding work with the big Hollywood studios, but Netflix purchased her historical epic Mudbound at Sundance 2017 and pushed her work to both a wide audience and four Oscar nominations.
Rees is working with Netflix directly on her next feature, The Last Thing He Wanted. Based on the 1996 political thriller novel by Joan Didion, the film stars Anne Hathaway, Willem Dafoe, and Ben Affleck. With so many Netflix films proving instantly forgettable, we expect this to be one of this year's most memorable.
This seems like the entry least likely to come out in 2019. If there's any sense in the world, it will be the least likely to see the light of day at all. We're bringing it up here mainly because we wish to encourage Tomorrow Studios to not make their announced live-action version of One Piece.
Of all the anime you could adapt, One Piece is perhaps the most proudly cartoony in both style and content. Doing it in live-action will either cost a gazillion dollars and still probably look stupid, or otherwise barely resemble One Piece at all. Stick with working on Cowboy Bebop and other anime that actually make sense for the live-action treatment.