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Netflix Adds 7 Shows to UK Production Slate With Sam Mendes and Andy Serkis Among Attached Talent

Rowan Atkinson also joins new fleet of streaming projects

Netflix announced Sunday that it is starting development on seven new shows that will be filmed in the U.K., with Andy Serkis, Rowan Atkinson and “1917” director Sam Mendes among the attached talent.

The shows will be developed by the streamer’s vice president of U.K. Original Series, Anne Mensah and will be produced alongside upcoming seasons of shows like “The Crown” and “Sex Education.”

“Setting up a team entirely based in the U.K. was always about being able to better connect to the fantastic program makers we have here — to provide a space for writers, producers, directors and actors that feels local, friendly and familiar but also provides talent the opportunity to make shows that will impact on a global scale. U.K.-made stories really do speak to the world,” Mensah said in a statement.

Among the upcoming projects are: “Man vs. Bee,” a slapstick comedy featuring Atkinson as a billionaire struggling to swat down a bee in his mansion; The Red Zone,” a comedy developed by Sam Mendes that teases that it is “about football, but also not about football”; “Half Bad,” a fantasy YA drama executive produced by Serkis about the illegitimate son of an evil witch who does not know what path he will take in his life.

The loglines for the upcoming new shows can be read below:

“Baby Reindeer” (8 x 30)
Writer/Lead Actor: Richard Gadd (Edinburgh Comedy Award Winner 2016, he has written episodes forĀ Sex Education)

Production Company: Clerkenwell Films

Synopsis: Based on a compelling true story, the hit 2019 Edinburgh Fringe one-man stage-play Baby Reindeer follows the writer and performer Richard Gadd’s warped relationship with his female stalker and the impact it has on him as he is ultimately forced to face a deep, dark buried trauma…

Richard is a multi-award winning writer, performer and actor. After its huge success at the Fringe, followed by a run at The Bush Theatre, London, Baby Reindeer won an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement at an Affiliate Theatre.

“Cuckoo Song” (working title / 6 x 60’)
Writers: Sarah Dollard (Bridgerton, Doctor Who, Being Human), Andrea Gibb (Elizabeth Is Missing, Swallows & Amazons, Dear Frankie), Corinna Faith (The Innocents, The Power)

Production Company: Catalyst Global Media, Doghouse Pictures

Executive Producers: Charlotte Walls, Katie Swinden, Sarah Dollard
Synopsis: A gripping horror story about two warring sisters – one human, one monster – who must unite to reverse a supernatural pact gone horribly wrong, and with it mend their grief-stricken family. Based on the novel by Frances Hardinge.

“Half Bad” (8 x 60’)
Writer: Joe Barton (Giri/Haji, Humans, Troy: Fall Of A City)

Production Company: Imaginarium Productions

Executive Producers: Joe Barton, Andy Serkis, Jonathan Cavendish, Will Tennant.
Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Nathan is the illegitimate son of the world’s most feared witch. He’s spent his whole life being monitored for signs he may follow the same destructive path as his father. But as tensions escalate, the old boundaries between “good” and “bad” fray and Nathan will discover what sort of person he truly is. This is an angsty, roller-coaster ride of a young adult show about a troubled kid who has the indomitable will to survive and defy the odds. The series is based on the Half Bad trilogy of books written by Sally Green.

“Lockwood & Co” (8 x 60’)
Lead Director/Writer: Joe Cornish (Attack the Block, The Kid Who Would Be King, Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn)

Production Company: Complete Fiction

Executive Producers: Nira Park, Rachael Prior, Joe Cornish
Synopsis: In London, where the most gifted teenage ghost-hunters venture nightly into perilous combat with deadly spirits, amidst the many corporate, adult-run agencies, one stands alone: independent of any commercial imperative or adult supervision – a tiny startup, run by two teenage boys and a newly arrived, supremely psychically gifted girl, a renegade trio destined to unravel a mystery that will change the course of history: Lockwood & Co. A supernatural action-adventure detective series, based on the best-selling novels by Jonathan Stroud.

“Man vs Bee” (10 x 10’)
Creators: Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean, Johnny English, Blackadder) and Will Davies (Johnny English, How to Train Your Dragon)

Production Company: HouseSitter Productions
Executive Producers: Will Davies and Chris Clark (Johnny English, All the Money in the World)
Synopsis: Renowned actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson plays a new character in this riotous comedy. A man finds himself at war with a bee while housesitting a luxurious mansion. Who will win, and what irreparable damage will be done in the process?

“The Red Zone” (6 x 30’)
Writers: Barney Ronay and Jonathan Liew

Production Company: Neal Street Productions

Executive Producers: Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, Nicolas Brown
Synopsis: This is a comedy about football, but also not about football. Mainly it’s a story about the people and the surfaces that collide in the orbit of this strange, obsessional world of bluffers, sharks and genuine talent. It’s about friendship, trust and families, in a world where no one is actually your friend, where there is zero trust and where families tend to devour each other every six months.

“The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle” (7 x 60’)
Creator & Writer: Sophie Petzal

Production Company: House Productions

Executive Producers: Juliette Howell, Tessa Ross and Sophie Petzal
Synopsis: Adapted from the best-selling, Costa award-winning debut novel by Stuart Turton, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a truly original, mind-bending murder mystery. All set within the grounds of a sprawling country estate, this high-concept thriller presents an intriguing puzzle – how do you solve a murder when every time you are getting close to the answer, you wake up in someone else’s body?