The Duffer Brothers, best known as the creators behind the Netflix steaming hit Stranger Things, announced the creation of their production company, Upside Down Pictures, to produce television and film projects for Netflix.
Stranger Things has been an immensely popular show and pop culture phenomenon. Season 4 recently became Netflix’s second show to surpass 1 billion hours viewed (though it still trails the first show to pass that landmark, Squid Game). The inclusion of music tracks from nearly 40 years ago have once again brought chart-topping hits to Kate Bush and Metallica. With that kind of success, it’s not strange that a new production company has been spawned.
Among the upcoming projects for Upside Down pictures (beyond the fifth and final season of Stranger Things) are a Stranger Things spinoff series, an adaptation of Stephen King’s and Peter Straub’s fantasy-horror classic The Talisman, an original series from Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews (creators of Netflix’s Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance), and a new live-action adaptation of the anime/manga series Death Note. A stage play that takes place in the Stranger Things universe is also under development.
In announcing the new production company, the Duffer Brothers said they “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.”
The announced projects would seem to fit that description—blending the normal and abnormal, real and surreal, natural and supernatural. Interpret’s VideoWatch data shows that Stranger Things viewers are more interested in genre fiction – science fiction, fantasy, and horror – and also significantly more interested in anime than non-viewers. These projects stick to the strengths of the Duffer Brothers and their ability to capture the imagination and hearts of their audiences, aligning well with these genre preferences.
It remains to be seen if the Duffer Brothers can retain their position as hit makers, but Netflix is wise to keep its partnership alive with the creators of one of the platform’s top IPs. If the new shows from the production company can come anywhere close to replicating the success of Stranger Things, it will go a long way towards helping Netflix avoid churn and attract customers to its upcoming ad-based tier.