The dystopian sci-fi film The Platform, a sleeper hit for Netflix in the vein of socially conscious movies like Snowpiercer and High-Rise, is getting a follow-up from original director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, and Jeff Chan will direct a sequel to his superpowered heist film Code 8 further exploring the crowdfunded original’s near-future world (Feb. 28.)
Netflix’s awards hopefuls include directorial debuts from Anna Kendrick and Daniel Kaluuya.
In 2024, Netflix is betting big on several A-list stars making their first foray in the director’s seat. They’ve already released Dan Levy’s Good Grief, a well-received dramatic comedy about loss and love, and Daniel Kaluuya’s The Kitchen, a timely, socially conscious sci-fi flick, and will be putting out a project from Anna Kendrick. Her directorial debut, Woman of the Hour, is a ‘70s period piece about a real-life serial killer who appeared on The Dating Game, starring Kendrick in the lead role alongside Tony Hale and Nicolette Robinson.
Jerry Seinfeld will make his feature-film-directing debut with Unfrosted: The Pop-Tart Story (May 3); Seinfeld will direct himself, Melissa McCarthy and Jim Gaffigan in a still-mysterious movie based on a perennial Seinfeld stand-up bit about the creation of the iconic toaster pastry. It’s apparently been finished since 2022, but in the wake of Flamin’ Hot, Air, Tetris and BlackBerry, the time for a film that makes a mockery of the consumer-product-origin-story genre might finally have arrived.
Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) is directing Shirley, a Shirley Chisholm biopic starring Regina King, due out March 22. Ben Taylor’s Joy, starring Thomasin McKenzie in a film about the quest to birth the first test tube baby, doesn’t have a release date yet. Korean director Kim Sang-man’s period piece Uprising, from a script by legendary filmmaker Park Chan-wook, focuses on two childhood friends affected by enduring war. The Piano Lesson will bring August Wilson’s play to the screen, with a cast that includes Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington, and Danielle Deadwyler.
There isn’t a household name like Martin Scorsese or Alfonso Cuarón on the docket, but projects to watch from veterans include Richard LaGravenese’s A Family Affair, the story of a complicated Hollywood romantic entanglement starring Nicole Kidman, Joey King, and Zac Efron, as well as Lee Daniels’ The Deliverance, an intriguing foray into horror from the acclaimed dramatic filmmaker. Even more “inspired by true events” films come from Richard Linklater, who collaborated with Glen Powell on the 2023 film-fest favorite Hit Man, which hits the platform on June 7 after a limited theatrical release, and Tyler Perry’s Six Triple Eight, about women soldiers in World War II.
Some of Netflix’s biggest hits have been in the nonfiction space; the streamer won Best Documentary at the 2021 Oscars for My Octopus Teacher. The doc lineup for 2024 features a few entries that seem like surefire award nominees, including Anthony Philipson’s archival-heavy Einstein and the Bomb (February 16) and Bao Nguyen’s just-released The Greatest Night in Pop, about the writing and recording of “We Are the World.”
The grand tradition of big, ridiculous Netflix genre flicks is intact.
From Extraction to Project Power to 6 Underground, Netflix has practically cornered the market on over-the-top, incendiary streaming movies. We’ve got a bunch more to look forward to (or dread, depending on your taste) including Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz in Seth Gordon’s CIA comedy Back in Action, Mark Wahlberg as a construction worker caught up in espionage thanks to his old girlfriend Halle Berry in The Union, Jaume Collet-Serra’s TSA-agent-versus-bomber thriller Carry-On, F. Gary Gray’s midair heist film Lift, McG’s dystopian Uglies, and the throwback-style vigilante flick Trigger Warning, starring Jesica Alba and directed by Mouly Surya.
In Atlas, Jennifer Lopez will match wits with a rogue AI. On the horror side, we have Time Cut, a Y2K time travel movie from talented director Hannah Macpherson that unfortunately feels too close to last year’s Totally Killer, as well as Greg Jardin’s It’s What’s Inside—which mines the tension behind old friends at a wedding to unnerving results—and Lupin writer François Uzan’s creature feature Family Pack.
One of the toughest Netflix movies to predict is Johan Renck’s Spaceman, an intergalactic drama starring Adam Sandler and Carey Mulligan (March 1.) Sandler has turned in some of his career-best performances in recent years, including in Netflix’s Hustle, and Mulligan is always excellent, but Renck hasn’t directed a feature film in more than 15 years (though he did do HBO’s Chernobyl). The trailer plays everything straight, and these sorts of moody space dramas range widely in their outcomes, from the good (Duncan Jones’ Moon) to the tedious.