Unlike the rest of us, Netflix hasn’t been sat around complaining about heatwaves this summer: it’s been busy bringing us some truly excellent trailers for its new releases. With Venice Film Festival underway as of last night, Toronto kicking off next week, and New York and London Film Festivals following soon afterwards, the next few weeks are crucial in getting possible awards contenders into the spotlight.
With the volume of new releases we have on offer, to say that the choices are overwhelming is an understatement. Let us take you through a guide to some of the best trailers this festival season and recommend a few series and films you can stream on Netflix over the next few months.
Timothée Chalamet stars as Hal, later a reluctant King Henry V, in a new historical epic. Chalamet and his iconic bowl cut come ahead of his appearance in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, due to release in December. Also featuring a very blonde Robert Pattinson (a bit of a change from his aesthetic in The Lighthouse), the film is a biopic of sorts — though anyone who uses the phrase ‘historical reimagining’ should immediately be put in the stocks. The King will premiere in theaters from October 11 before arriving to Netflix on November 1.
Sacha Baron Cohen stars in a refreshingly sober role as Israeli clerk, Eli Cohen, who goes deep undercover inside Syria on a perilous mission to spy for Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency. Far removed from his roles in The Dictator and, well, pretty much his entire filmography, The Spy will play out as a limited series, available on Netflix from September 6.
The Spy is written and directed by Emmy-winner Gideon Raff (Prisoners of War, Homeland and Tyrant). Raff and Max Perry co-wrote episodes 3-6. The series is produced by Alain Goldman (La Vie en Rose) and Légende Films.
Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas star in a Soderbergh-directed heist that dramatises the Panama Papers scandal of 2016 — probably making it look way more sexy than the leak of over 200,000 offshore accounts did in real life. In any case, even as a tourist, Meryl’s on the case, and I have every hope in her to uncover Banderas’ and Oldman’s criminal activity, screwball comedy-style. The Laundromat will release theatrically on September 27 in Los Angeles, New York and the UK, and will be available to stream on Netflix worldwide from 18 October.
If you can see past the fact that Drake is the executive producer and get through the neon-lit, plastic-chair stereotype of east London, you might enjoy the third season of Top Boy. Already released in the UK, the series first ran on Channel 4 in 2013, and now that Netflix have acquired the rights, we can expect the new episodes to be airing from September 11.
Marriage Story (dual trailers)
ScarJo and Adam Driver (who’s also starring in The Report for Netflix this November) play a married couple who are in a bit of a mess, but they’re not going to talk about it. The trailer has been released in two parts from both points of view, ‘What I love about Nicole’ and ‘What I love about Charlie’. If it sounds a bit corny, that’s because it is, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t high-stakes drama involved between two of our fave superheroes actors.
Director Noah Baumbach said of the film:
Marriage Story is a love story that reveals itself within the breakdown. With these companion trailers I wanted to show the relationship through the eyes of both characters. There are many sides to every story, and the movie embraces these different viewpoints in order to find the shared truth.
It’s not just the 210-minute runtime that has baffled fans. Scorsese’s epic has been caught in an unfolding battle between Netflix and theatrical distributors, an epic drama in itself. It’s technically not a Netflix original given the conflict, but we can expect it to hit the streaming service on November 27 all the same.
The Two Popes
‘Inspired by true events’ is always a phrase you should be wary of, but I somehow trust Fernando Meirelles to direct a comic, subtle, documentary about Cardinal Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) and Pope Benedict XVI (Anthony Hopkins) Facing scandal and self-doubt, Pope Benedict summons his harshest critic and future successor to Rome to reveal a secret that would shake the foundations of the Catholic Church. The Two Popes will be showing in select theaters on November 27 and on Netflix December 20.
I don’t know why this one wasn’t made sooner, because I’d see it based on the cast alone. A fun Blaxploitation film that sees Eddie Murphy return to the big screen in a genuinely laugh-out-loud funny role, Dolemite Is My Name reprises the 1975 film original and also stars Keegan Michael-Key, Chris Rock, Craig Robinson and Tituss Burgess. Expect it to hit select theaters on October 4 and to reach Netflix three weeks later on October 25.
Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates
We get a look inside Bill Gates’ brain. ‘Nuff said. The three-part documentary is a look at the inventor and philanthropist’s personal and professional life, inviting family, friends and colleagues to give an account of his endeavours, including the formation of Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates will launch globally and be available to stream on Netflix from September 20.
So there you have it — whether you’re jumping on the festival hype or ready to sit tight as fall sets in, there’s plenty to keep you entertained this season.