Come hell or high water, Netflix is going to go out of its way to expand and originate as many in-house franchises as possible, but the streaming service’s latest plan for orchestrating a worldwide IP is by no means guaranteed to succeed.
While star-powered blockbusters including Extraction, The Gray Man, Red Notice, and The Old Guard all have follow-ups in the works, they were always guaranteed to succeed based on the big names, bigger budget, and mass-market appeal to subscribers all over the globe.
However, localized spin-offs and offshoots are an entirely different animal, and the jury remains out as to whether or not it’s got the legs to thrive in the long-term. For one thing, as solid as Army of Thieves was, the European-set crime caper was supposed to be the first of many standalone stories set in Zack Snyder’s zombie universe, but no more have materialized and the animated companion series is stuck in development hell.
Meanwhile, remaking Money Heist as Korea’s Joint Economic Area was a pointless exercise given that it barely scratched the surface of the global most-watched charts, while this weekend’s Bird Box Barcelona holds a tepid 49 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, despite the fact it’ll be guaranteed to top the rankings.
Head of European film output Teresa Moreno believes “we as Netflix can offer a nuanced way of adapting titles across formats and languages,” though, while Bird Box producer Chris Morgan offered that “having a strong, successful, worldwide IP to anchor subsequent chapters around the world is definitely a confidence booster” per The Hollywood Reporter, but the jury is well and truly out when there’s still no evidence that the quality is going to be there to match the quantity.