Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Netflix orders 7 new U.K. productions, including new shows from Rowan Atkinson and Sam Mendes

Rowan Atkinson
Rowan Atkinson
Photo: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for Universal Pictures UK

It’s time to start serving tea and biscuits at the Netflix offices, because things are starting to get a bit more British. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the streaming service has ordered seven new TV projects from its U.K. branch, including some from big-name British people like Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean himself!) and Sam Mendes (Mr. 1917 himself!). In a statement, Netflix’s U.K. vice president of original shows, Anne Mesah, said that this new crop of projects “provides talent the opportunity to make shows that will impact on a global scale” and that “U.K.-made stories really do speak to the world.” (But of course someone in charge of producing U.K.-made stories will say that.)

As for what these seven new shows are, they include: Man Vs. Bee, from Atkinson and Johnny English collaborators Will Davies and Chris Clark, and it’ll star Atkinson as a man trying to kill a bee while he’s taking care of a luxurious mansion. The THR story mentions it being a “riotous comedy” and teases “irreparable damage” being done to the house, so it sounds like it’s right up Atkinson’s alley. Mendes’ project is The Red Zone from writer Barney Ronay and Jonathan Liew, and it’s “a comedy about football, but also not about football.” (That’s soccer, we assume, not Friday Night Lights football.) Joe Cornish of Attack The Block fame is also on board here, directing an adaptation of Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co books about teenagers who hunt ghosts.

The final four comes from creators who are, let’s be honest, less-famous: Baby Reindeer from Richard Gadd, a writer on Sex Education, is based on Gadd’s one-man show of the same name and is about his “warped relationship” with a stalker and facing a “deep, dark buried trauma.” Cuckoo Song, from writers Sarah Dollard, Andrea Gibb, and Corinna Faith, is a horror show based on a Frances Hardinge novel about two sisters (“one human, one monster”) who have to work together to stop a curse. Half Bad from writer Joe Barton is about the son of a witch and is also based on books. Finally, there’s The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle, which—get this—is based on a book! The adaptation comes from Sophie Petzal, and like the book, it’s a body-swapping murder mystery.

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