Netflix News Dark Crystal Arrested Development and an Atwood Series

first_imgNetflix made a ton of announcements today that might make it worth continuing to shell out the cash for a subscription. The first is a series adaptation of a beloved dark fantasy classic. No, not The Witcher. I’m talking about Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal. Netflix is producing a TV series that will act as a prequel to Henson’s film, and probably terrify a whole new generation of kids. There aren’t a whole lot of details right now, but a teaser trailer has been released. Yes, there are puppets.According to TV Line, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will take place years before Henson’s 1982 film. Netflix also details a little bit of the plot in the show’s description. “When three Gelfling discover the horrifying secret behind the Skeksis’ power, they set out on an epic journey to ignite the fires of rebellion and save their world,” it says. Given the state of the world when the original movie begins, I’m guessing things don’t work out too well for the Gelfling rebellion.The Dark Crystal came as a surprise for kids who only knew Jim Henson as the Muppet guy. If you went in expecting Kermit the Frog, you probably left feeling more than a little disturbed. Watch it a little later in life, and you might appreciate the complex, creative dark fantasy world of the film. It even holds up well today, thanks to Henson’s mastery of practical effects. The new series will still feature plenty of puppets, but the effects will be enhanced with CGI. Like the original film, the series will be aimed at families, even with the dark premise. Good. If I had to have nightmares about evil birds and detachable eyes, I don’t see why kids today should get out of it.Louis Leterrier, of Now You See Me and The Incredible Hulk, will executive produce and direct the series. No release date has been set for the 10-episode season, but Netflix says it’s “Coming Soon.” Whatever that means.(Via Netflix)Also coming to Netflix is a fifth season of Arrested Development, with the full cast involved. Series creator Mitchell Hurwitz and the rest of the regular cast will return for a fifth season in 2018. When Netflix brought the show back for a fourth season in 2013, it was a change in format for the show and Netflix’s first attempt at original comedy. Many longtime fans of the series felt it was a little too different from the Fox show they remembered. It didn’t help that most of the cast’s careers had blown up to the point where they didn’t have time to shoot scenes together. Instead, each episode followed a different character over the same stretch of time. Without all the Bluths together in one place, the comedic timing suffered a bit.Hopefully, that won’t happen this time. Even if it does, Netflix has had more practice with original comedy since then, so there’s a chance that the fifth season could fix the issues audiences had with the fourth.Hurwitz said of the new season, “In talks with Netflix we all felt that stories about a narcissistic, erratically behaving family in the building business — and their desperate abuses of power — are really underrepresented on TV these days.”Nobody sounds more excited though than executive producer Ron Howard. “Whew! I can finally answer the question… Hell yes! Warming up my uncredited narrator vocal chords,” he said. “Now the only thing I will have to be coy about is all the craziness the Bluths are going to face this season.” As the show was just announced, there are no details about what kind of plot or structure the fifth season will have. Still, it is promising that the entire cast and crew was able to get together again. Hopefully in the same room this time.Arrested Development season five will release worldwide on Netflix sometime in 2018.Netflix also released a trailer for its upcoming friendly creature movie, Okja. This one comes from Bong Joon-Ho, director of the fantastic sci-fi thriller, Snowpiercer. This movie has a noticeably different tone than his previous work, but it sure looks good. Going by the trailer above, it appears to revolve around a little girl who befriends a friendly giant… pig-hippo-dog thing. The trailer immediately makes it clear that this isn’t a kids movie. Tilda Swinton looks like she’s having fun as the evil head of a food company who plans to kill Okja and sell his meat. It also stars Paul Dano and Jake Gyllenhaal and looks like a hell of a lot of fun.Okja will release on Netflix on June 28, 2017.Finally, if you’re loving (and being terrified by) Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, Netflix has their own Margaret Atwood-based series on the way. The streaming service is teaming up with Canada’s CBC for a six-episode miniseries based on Atwood’s Alias Grace. Unlike The Handmaid’s Tale, Alias Grace isn’t a sci-fi dystopia. It’s a historical tale based on a true story.The series will follow Grace Marks, an Irish immigrant, and servant living in north Canada in 1843. When her employer, Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery are murdered, she and stablehand James McDermott are accused and convicted of the crime. The series will star Sarah Gadon as Grace, Kerr Logan as James, Paul Gross as Thomas and Anna Paquin as Nancy. It will be written and produced by Sarah Polley and directed by Mary Harron, director of American Psycho and I Shot Andy Warhol.Atwood is one of the most important writers of the late-20th and early 21st centuries. It’s exciting to see more of her work be given this kind of attention. Alias Grace will arrive on Netflix this fall, but you can see a few images from the series in the gallery below.last_img