With the success of the fourth season of ‘Stranger Things’ still fresh, its creators the Duffer brothers have announced the creation of a production company, called Upside Down Pictures in open reference to the sinister inverted world of their series. To direct it, they have Hilary Leavitt, whose extensive curriculum includes the development of successful series such as ‘Orphan Black’, ‘Ozark’, ‘The Great’ and the recent ‘The Luminous’.
More of the same for Netflix. Upside Down Pictures will work closely with Netflix to continue producing series with the platform, which is undoubtedly the most appropriate strategic decision. Being under the same roof, Netflix will have no problem promoting the duo’s new series as spiritual continuations of ‘Stranger Things’, which will undoubtedly benefit both parties.
According to statements to Deadline, the brothers want to create “the kind of stories that inspired them growing up”, in true ‘Stranger Things’ style, “where the ordinary meets the extraordinary, where the great spectacle coexists with the intimate development of the characters, where the heart wins over cynicism”. And in this way they make it clear that they have a very clear strategy to prolong the success of the Netflix series.
They are not sequels, but almost. The Duffers have already revealed some of the projects they have in the pipeline, and it’s very clear that the spirit of ‘Stranger Things’ hovers over them, in some cases explicitly. This is the case of an official spin-off of ‘Stranger Things’ and of which there is no data, as if it will continue any plot line of the mother series, if it will be set at the same time or if it will start from a character in the series. . The company is also producing a stage play “set in the world and mythology” of the series, produced by Stephen Daldry (“Billy Elliot”) and written by Kate Trefry.
Openly in tune with ‘Stranger Things’ is a project that the Duffers have already talked about and have paid explicit homage to in their series: the adaptation of the 1984 novel by Stephen King and Peter Straub ‘The Talisman’, a dark fantasy that will co-produce Spielberg’s Amblin and contains elements, like the Netflix series, of science fiction, horror and fantasy. They will also enter eighties territory with the new series from the writers of ‘The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance’, Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews. Possibly, unfortunately, without puppets.
The latest project announced is a new adaptation of ‘Death Note’, the magnificent manga by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata that Netflix itself already visualized in a movie that went unnoticed. This remake will be brand new, and while its sinister and quirky tone apparently doesn’t fit the Duffers’ old-school narrative ambitions, the youth of their characters and their mix of dark fantasy and existential horror do fit the style of ‘ Stranger Things’.
El Upside Down espiritual. The Duffer production company’s move is very clear: except for that spin-off, not to saturate the market with products derived from ‘Stranger Things’, but to take advantage of the success of the style (which Netflix itself has exploited in films like ‘La calle of terror’) to put up films that connect with its spirit. In that sense, ‘The Talisman’ is the most blatant example: there is possibly no more obvious referent for the series (without the need to resort to the official adaptation for a series that often seems like an apocryphal ‘It’) than Stephen King.
In a panorama completely saturated with sequels without much meaning (without leaving Netflix, there are the dubious second seasons of ‘The Squid Game’ or ‘The Paper House: Korea’), at least the Duffers have opted for the most creative. Another thing is that they decide to give all their adaptations an aesthetic bathroom or a familiar tone similar to that of the mother series, but in those cases it will be necessary to see one by one if they fit or not.
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