Netflix has boarded new action-packed film projects in France, including the sequel of Guillaume Pierret’s thriller “Lost Bullet,” and Regis Blondeau’s “A Tombeau Ouvert,” a remake of the Korean film “A Hard Day.”
The service’s slate of Originals for 2021, meanwhile, comprises the action movie “The Last Mercenary” with Jean-Claude Van Damme, and the series “Braqueurs,” a spinoff of Julien Leclercq’s movie.
The service is expecting to roll out 27 French Originals (series, films and documentaries) by the end of 2021, according to Anne-Gabrielle Dauba-Pantanacce, head of communications at Netflix.
The titles were announced during a virtual presentation of Netflix’s French slate for 2021, hosted by Damien Couvreur, head of French series originals, Sara May, Netflix’s head of acquisitions and co-productions for France and Italy, and Dauba-Pantanacce.
“Lost Bullet” is high-concept thriller revolving around a man who gets arrested after a failed robbery and starts working for a cop unit to avoid going to jail. The plot of the film sequel is still under wrap.
May pointed out that French thrillers have performed particularly well on the platform, notably “Lost Bullet” and Olivier Marchal’s “Bronx” – launched on Netflix in June and October 2020, respectively – which were watched more than 37 million times each during their first month on the service. “Bronx” was initially set for a theatrical release in France, but Netflix bought the film from Gaumont after cinemas closed due to the pandemic.
Netflix also unveiled teasers for Alexandre Aja’s “Oxygene,” a high-voltage thriller headlined by Melanie Laurent, and David Charhon’s “Le Dernier Mercenaire” with Van Damme, Alban Ivanov and Miou-Miou.
Aside from genre and action, Netflix is also ramping up on family-oriented Originals, such as Dany Boon’s movie “8 rue de l’humanite” whose teaser was shown during the presentation. Boon stars in the film opposite Laurence Arné (“La Chtite Famille”) and Francois Damiens (“Heartbreaker”). “8 rue de l’humanité” follows the daily lives of seven families in lockdown in a Parisian apartment building.
Netflix’s 2022 lineup of more mainstream films also includes the sequel to the 2012 action comedy “On the Other Side of the Tracks” with “Lupin” star Omar Sy and director Louis Leterrier (“Now You See Me”).
The streamer, which is rolling off the massive success of “Lupin,” announced new series projects in the pipeline for 2022, notably “The 7 Lives of Lea,” created by Charlotte Sanson and produced by Empreinte Digitale; and “Bendo,” based on an original idea by Nawell Madani and produced by Elephant and Black Barbie.
“The 7 Lives of Lea” revolves around a woman who wakes up every morning in the body of a different person. “Bendo” centers around Fara, a rising TV journalist who embarks on a mission to pay back a major drug dealer before the end of Ramadan to save her family.
Netflix’s series roster for 2021 includes “Gone for Good,” based on Harlan Coben’s book. The service is currently filming the drama series “La Part Du Feu,” about the Notre Dame Cathedral fire, and Johnny Hallyday docuseries “Johnny By Johnny.”
Considering Netflix’s growth in subscriber base in France, Couvreur said the service was aiming to have more and more original series that can appeal to a large audience.
Since launching its office in Paris a year ago, Netflix has partnered with several film schools and organizations to help new talent from diverse backgrounds emerge in the French film and TV industry. The service for instance joined forces with Houda Benyamina’s association 1000 Visages and the Kourtrajmé film school. Netflix will next team up with the org 50/50 to host a mentoring program.