We’ve been hearing for years that Netflix is seeking an in-house franchise of its own with the potential to rival the biggest brands in the business like Star Wars, Harry Potter, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or even Fast & Furious or Mission: Impossible, with the streaming service continuing to come up short.
Ironically, zeitgeist-seizing content is more likely to be found in an episodic form, with Stranger Things, The Witcher, Squid Game, and Bridgerton just four properties to dominate the pop culture conversation, generate huge viewing figures, and launch either multiple seasons and/or spinoffs.
The Gray Man is Netflix’s latest attempt to lay the foundation for sequels, spinoffs, and everything between, but reviews haven’t exactly been kind for the platform’s latest $200 million blockbuster. With that in mind, Redditors have been wondering why the company can’t seem to crack the formula for success that’s worked so well for many theatrical IPs.
Red Notice has back-to-back sequels in development, Army of the Dead is getting a whole universe, and The Gray Man could follow suit along with Extraction when it comes to world-building, but beyond that pickings are pretty slim. Looking at the most-watched originals of all-time, The Old Guard has a second chapter shooting as we speak, Bird Box has a spinoff in the works, but 6 Underground was canned, and Spenser Confidential has gone awfully quiet.
Maybe it’s a case of being available only on-demand, or Netflix’s habit of picking up expensive projects that other studios aren’t willing to spend the money on. Either way, the streamer will continue seeking its golden goose for the foreseeable future.