Stranger Things spin-off and stage play in the works
A live-action spin-off from Stranger Things and a stage play are both in the works at Netflix and Upside Down Pictures, a new production company set up by the show’s creators the Duffer Brothers.
The duo have written, directed and executive produced the hit streaming series – currently Netflix’s most popular English-language TV show of all time – and have just debuted the fourth season, which clocked up 621.8 million hours viewed within 10 days of its premiere. Now, hot on the heels of the two-part Season 4 finale, the Duffer Brothers have announced a new production company, Upside Down Pictures, which will develop film and television projects as part of their overall deal with Netflix.
Hilary Leavitt (Orphan Black, Ozark) has been hired to run the company, which will aim to create the kind of stories that inspired the Duffers growing up – “stories that take place at that beautiful crossroads where the ordinary meets the extraordinary, where big spectacle co-exists with intimate character work, where heart wins out over cynicism”.
Already on the slate are a live-action Stranger Things spin-off series based on an original idea by The Duffer Brothers, with Upside Down and 21 Laps producing, and a stage play set within the world and mythology of Stranger Things, produced by Sonia Friedman, Stephen Daldry (The Crown, Billy Elliot, The Reader) and Netflix. Daldry will also direct.
Other, non-Stranger Things projects in the pipeline include a new live-action TV adaptation of the manga and anime series Death Note, an original series from creators Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews (Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance), plus a TV series based on Stephen King and Peter Straub‘s The Talisman, to be created by Curtis Gwinn.
Hilary Leavitt added: “I remember the first movie I saw in the theater, the first VHS tape I got for Christmas, the first international one-sheet I bid for on ebay because it was cooler than the domestic. And the first time I met Matt and Ross. All of these seminal moments have led to this ridiculously cool opportunity to build a company with the Duffer Brothers where we produce movies and television because we love movies and television. This love is at the core of Upside Down Pictures, where we’re able to collaborate with other artists on projects across the full spectrum of genre. We all love what we do and are excited to do more and more.”
Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos added: “Matt and Ross are an exceptionally unique talent with a vision so crisp and clear. They are all about the details — it’s no accident that Stranger Things has pierced the zeitgeist to become the epic pop culture phenomenon it is today. We’re excited to continue telling new stories with them as they grow Upside Down Pictures and to welcome Hilary as creative partner.”