Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Netflix Taps “Matrix” Makers for New Series

matrix_dodgeHere’s the newest high-profile foray into original content from Netflix: A deal with “Matrix” creators Andy and Lana Wachowski for a new sci-fi series.

Netflix describes “Sense8” as “a gripping global tale of minds linked and souls hunted,” so who knows what that means. But we should expect to see it toward the end of 2014, the video company says.

Like other original content deals, Netflix isn’t creating the show in-house, but is funding an outside production company — in this case, Reliance Entertainment’s Georgeville Television — to make the show so it can debut exclusively on the site.

As you are very well aware, Netflix debuted “House of Cards,” the Kevin Spacey/David Fincher series, last month, and in May will show off a new season of “Arrested Development.” In between those two, Netflix has another original on tap — next month it will debut “Hemlock Grove,” a horror series from director Eli Roth.

Meanwhile, Amazon, which is increasingly competing with Netflix for both content and press attention, is working on its own originals strategy by funding a slew of TV-like pilot episodes, which it will stream for free on its own site, and will eventually order up a full slate of shows from that pool.

Meanwhile, back to the Wachowskis: The Netflix deal doesn’t mean they’re getting out of the movie business, though their last few non-“Matrix” efforts haven’t worked out at the box office. They’re slated to start work on a new film, “Jupiter Ascending,” for Warner Bros. next month.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work