The Biggest Netflix Original Movies And Streaming TV Shows To Watch In 2021
Netflix's upcoming year is packed with original shows and movies we can't wait to stream.
Streaming services, for many, were a life raft through 2020's ongoing lockdowns, and though many newcomers entered the fray this year, Netflix still stands tall as the leading service. This year, the streaming titan continued its push to add new and interesting original programming with new shows and movies, and next year, they're going to keep going with a new slate of originals to look forward to.
You'll notice that most of these have yet to set their premiere dates, a running theme for the entertainment industry through 2021 as uncertainty reigns supreme. But even through covid-related shutdowns and production postponements, filming did persist, so we can expect more news about release dates as the new year approaches.
So what sort of content can we expect to stream on Netflix in 2021? Just about everything. From comic book adaptations like The Sandman and Sweet Tooth to horror icons like Guillermo del Toro and Mike Flanagan bringing brand new shows and movies to the table, Netflix is primed to have an amazing and diverse offering next year. Check out some of our most highly anticipated originals and let us know what you're looking forward to in the comments below.
And don't forget to check out our breakdown of our most anticipated 2021 movies and TV across all platforms and studios while you start making your tentative new year plans--there's plenty just around the corner, streaming or otherwise.
Guillermo del Toro Presents 10 After Midnight
Del Toro's horror anthology series was announced back in 2018, and remains something of a mystery. We know that the man himself will be serving as writer and director for some of the installments and will be personally curating the whole collection, but news about who will be involved and what can be expected is still vague. Still, this is one we're hoping for on the horizon and want to keep an eye on as 2021 rolls around--after all, who doesn't love a good del Toro horror story?
The Woman in the Window
This delayed adaptation of Daniel Mallory's best-selling novel has had a few behind-the-scenes problems, including reshoots after reported negative test screenings and controversy about Mallory himself, and it's now set to hit Netflix at some point. It has an A-list cast (Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie, Julianne Moore), a high-profile director (Atonement's Joe Wright), and the book was the first debut novel in more than a decade to enter the New York Times' Best Seller List at No.1. It's a Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who starts to investigate the disappearance of a friend.
Army of the Dead
Zack Snyder is primed to have a pretty busy year with the release of the highly anticipated Snyder Cut on HBO Max, but over on Netflix he's returning to the Zombie genre with Army of the Dead. It's going to be a "zombie heist movie" about mercenaries trying to pull a heist on a Las Vegas casino during a zombie outbreak, and it stars Dave Bautista, Tig Notaro, and Ella Purnell. It'll even have an anime prequel called Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, but neither has a set premiere date just yet.
Del Toro's stop motion adaptation of the classic Pinocchio fable was picked up for distribution by Netflix in 2021. So far no real images have been released, but we know that it's going to be a "dark musical fantasy" and feature voices by Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton, Ron Perlman, and Christoph Waltz.
Mike Flanagan's Haunting of Hill House and Bly Manor have become massively popular Halloween staples, but we may be getting something a little different from the writer/director next year. Midnight Mass is a horror show made up of 7 episodes that Flanagan and team began shooting this fall, and will include some Hill House/Bly favorites like Kate Siegel. There's no confirmed release date, but during the Bly Manor press tour, Flanagan spoke to GameSpot directly from set, so we can hope for a Halloween season debut.
The Sandman (live action)
Neil Gaiman's cult classic Sandman comics are finally getting a live-action adaptation after years of false starts and canceled projects--and yes, this one is actually, for real going to happen. The Sandman started filming this fall, himself on Twitter. No release date has been set and a cast list has not been made available, but given the production status we can expect news in the relatively near future. For those unfamiliar with the series, The Sandman is the story of the Endless, god-like embodiments of concepts like dreams, desires, and death, as they interact with one another and the mortal world.
Another comic book adaptation headed for Netflix in the future is Sweet Tooth, based on the series of the same name by Jeff Lemire. This show was originally planned for Hulu but was handed off to Netflix in April of 2020 with an eight-episode series order. It follows a human-deer hybrid named Gus and his rag-tag band of animal-human hybrid friends searching for answers about their origins after a cataclysmic event ravages the world at large. No premiere date has been yet, but it began filming in July.
Shadow and Bone
Based on the YA novels Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, this series will follow a young soldier who lives in a world divided in two by a massive barrier of perpetual darkness. The show has been in the works for some time, with a full cast list including Westworld's Ben Barnes, announced back in 2019. It completed production in early 2020, but has yet to lock down a premiere date for its eight episode run.
Avatar: The Last Airbender (live-action)
Netflix is working on a live-action adaptation of the beloved Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender. This isn't the first time such a thing has been attempted, but there's a good chance this will be better than the loathed 2010 movie (low bar, we know). That said, the cartoon's original creators recently. Time will tell, and we're hoping to see this show in 2021.
The Witcher Season 2
The Witcher was one of Netflix's most popular shows in 2019, and it's a no-brainer that the streaming service has a second season in the works. Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich has said that , and that the story will be more linear than Season 1, which . There's also a spin-off on the way, , though we likely won't see that for a while yet.
Cobra Kai Season 3
January 8, 2021
The first two seasons of the Karate Kid spin-off Cobra Kai screened on YouTube Premium, but for Season 3, the show is moving over to Netflix. This is great news for fans of the continuing adventures Daniel and Johnny, 30 years after the original hit ‘80s movies. And fans of the films who haven’t had the chance to see Seasons 1 and 2 (or simply those who read the great reviews), will also be able to catch up on those on Netflix too.
I Think You Should Leave Season 2
Tim Robinson's sketch show I Think You Should Leave was bizarre, easily one of the weirdest sketch comedy series in years. Robinson's unique brand of humor is absurdist and pushes the envelope for how far it's willing to go to deliver its comedy. While we don't know a lot about the upcoming season, series co-creator Zach Kanin told Variety that The Lonely Island will be involved.
Cowboy Bebop (live-action)
There have been some really unfortunate live-action anime adaptations in recent years, from Ghost in the Shell to Death Note. However, we can't help but look forward to seeing a new take on one of our favorites, Cowboy Bebop. While as recently as November, there's no release date yet for Netflix's live-action adaptation, but we have high hopes that it might stream in 2021.