Netflix is killing it this year — they released House of Cards to rave reviews, and Arrested Development's revival is dropping soon. Now they've announced their next original series plans, and they're big ones. The sci-fi/mystery series Sense8 isn't due for a while, but what we know about it now makes us want it to get here a whole lot sooner. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the new series.
1. The Wachowskis Are Leading It
Andy and Lana Wachowski, creators of the Matrix franchise, Speed Racer, Cloud Atlas and more, are the creative force behind the show. There are rumors that they're interested in directing a few episodes, but the extent of their involvement isn't really known beyond their status as "creators." They have some serious clout in the industry, so expectations are high.
2. It's Exclusive to Netflix
This is only one of many announcements for Netflix original series to surface in recent months. House of Cards' launch and Arrested Development's rebirth are just the start, since they've already announced a children's show partnership with DreamWorks for Turbo: F.A.S.T. and the still-hazy horror show Hemlock Grove.
3. J. Michael Straczynski Will Be Showrunner
You might not recognize his name, but you'll definitely recognize J. Michael Straczynski's BAFTA Award-winning screenplay for Changeling, and to a lesser extent the 92 out of 110 episodes he wrote of sci-fi series Babylon 5. He'll be acting as showrunner, the television equivalent of executive producer in films, and it usually outranks the director. He and the Wachowskis are fans of one another's work, so the partnership should be a fruitful one.
4. It's Due in Late 2014
We wish we had a more specific date, but that's all the press release let us know. At least Netflix is pumping out plenty of original content to keep us busy until then.
5. It's Ordered for One 10-Episode Season (So Far)
The next 24 hours should be very interesting indeed....
— JMichael Straczynski (@straczynski) March 27, 2013
This seems to be the running trend for Netflix shows — a 10-episode trial run will usually give viewers and executives enough time to decide if it's going to work. With this kind of creative brainpower, though, it's doubtful that this will be the only season.
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6. Not Much is Known About the Plot
The press release was pretty cryptic, and outside of it being a science fiction/mystery series not much is known. The release says that it's "a gripping global tale of minds linked and souls hunted," but even that doesn't explain much. The Wachowskis were quoted as saying, "Several years ago, we had a late night conversation about the ways technology simultaneously unites and divides us, and out of that paradox Sense 8 was born." That still isn't enough for a firm grasp on what they're going for, but it's still very early days for the series.
7. It's the Wachowskis' First Foray into Television
They might be veteran filmmakers, but this marks their entry into television. Some things translate through both styles, but there are new inherent challenges for them to tackle with the change. Either way it'll be interesting to see how the creators will adapt. Straczynski has been in the television game for some time, so he's already well accustomed to those challenges and will likely be able to give the Wachowskis some guidance.
8. It's a Sign of Things to Come
Netflix has been making changes as of late, and it seems as though they'll be permanent. Their original series may mark the next television renaissance, and with their taste in filmmakers it seems that it will take a lot to stop them. It's an exciting time for online television, and Sense 8 may be a frontrunner of a new generation of content.
9. Georgeville Television and Studio JMS Are Producing It
These two production giants might not have much input on the creative direction of the program, but they will on just about every other aspect of its creation. These producers are worth noting because they're taking a risk on what could either be a boom or a bust, depending on fan reactions.
10. No Potential Stars Are Listed Yet
No familiar faces (well, no faces at all) have been made public yet, but the reputations of all parties involved precede them. They'll probably be able to pull anyone they want, especially since Kevin Spacey is enjoying his new success with House of Cards. This is a highly anticipated area, and if they're smart they'll pick someone with mass appeal.