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Netflix, “The Gray Man Universe” and Quixotic’s Quest for Perks

Yesterday, Netflix announce An expansion of “The Gray Man Universe,” continuing the trend that has made Netflix positively despair of making movies and shows that could thrive into franchises and cinematic universes.

In many ways, it’s easy to see why this happens. Disney has Marvel and Star Wars with decades of history behind them. WB/HBO has DC, Game of Thrones, and Harry Potter, to name a few influential franchises. Amazon even had a hit with The Boys, which has spawned three excellently reviewed seasons and two episodic seasons so far. Now they are trying to throw a mountain of money at the Lord of the Rings.

Meanwhile, Netflix hasn’t been able to land more than the episodic whale, one of the most notable being Stranger Things, but this series is due to end after an extra season and only continues in episodic form. Shows like The Witcher have done well, but they haven’t been as successful as Thrones. And so Netflix continues to hunt.

They’ve experimented with superheroes, quite a bit, and the most notable mistake is Legacy Jupiter, which was meant to launch “Millarverse” on service, but it performed so poorly that the concept was mostly scrapped. Umbrella Academy is strong, but it’s not The Boys in terms of generating a lasting conversation.

Elsewhere, Squid has been a huge, cultural game unparalleled in the industry, yet it remains to be seen what was supposed to be a one-off season that can blossom when new content is put on it to grow this ‘universe’.

Step into Netflix’s box office projects, where one of the paths to trying relevance has been a blockbuster series with the power of an A-list star. Several times, Netflix has failed to fire these ideas, as with Bright and 6 Underground, but they’ve recently settled on making films that may not impress critics, but audience scores and watch time seem high enough to monetize boatloads. More money. The two most recent examples are Red Notice, the Rock/Gal Gadot/Ryan Reynolds heist movie that broke Netflix movie records and had a sequel, and Now Gray Guy, with Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans and Ana de Armas, that will not only get a sequel but also Part of a segment from the “Gray Man Universe”.

The thing is, that’s always been the plan, and for some of these projects now, it’s just Netflix assumption It will be sufficient success to ensure continued investment and expansion in Cinema World. The Gray Man, for example, was conceived as a whole series of potential movies and spin-offs by Russos before it even aired, and now that it’s here, even if it’s something I really doubt anyone will talk about in the future. By the end of the week, Netflix is ​​ready to throw hundreds of millions of dollars at it, even if it doesn’t even beat Red Notice this time in viewership.

The gray man is fine. I liked that. But there’s something weird here about Netflix taking something quite so lightly and trying to thrive in a cinematic universe that literally no one but those who made the movie itself asked for it. Action franchises like Fast and Furious, Mission Impossible, and John Wick are on a different level here, yet Netflix is ​​investing in The Gray Man Universe like 2022’s hottest Halloween costume is about to be Ryan Gosling’s agent or something. I don’t think you can fake your way into convincing audiences that this is something that should be a “universe”, and I would say the same about the Red Bulletin and a lot of other projects where this keeps happening, despite of somewhat mediocre quality.

We will see what happens. I mean, I personally don’t care what Netflix wants you to dump with trucks of money, but there really seems to be an urgent need to craft universes of properties that don’t really fit the concept, and it’s only getting more and more in frequency lately.

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