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Harry and Meghan busy with ‘a bunch’ of new Netflix projects

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have “a bunch” of new projects in development at Netflix, a senior executive at the entertainment company has said.

Harry and Meghan signed a five-year deal with Netflix that is estimated to be worth $100m (approximately £78m) in 2020, after they resigned as senior members of the royal family and relocated to the US.

Under the deal, the couple have released a six-part series titled Harry & Meghan about their relationship, marriage, and decision to leave the UK and move to Los Angeles. The show was released in two parts in December 2022 and subsequently became Netflix’s most successful documentary launch ever.

Since inking the deal with Netflix, the Sussexes have also completed two other documentaries – Heart of Invictus and Live to Lead – that received a more middling viewer response.

Shedding light on the future of their deal with Netflix, the company’s chief content officer Bela Bajaria said Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Productions is gearing up to deliver at least three new projects, including a film and “a couple of other unscripted things”.

Speaking at a Hollywood event on Wednesday (31 January), Bajaria teased forthcoming films and TV shows from Archewell, saying: “They actually have a bunch in development.”

According to reports, the “unscripted” projects are likely to be documentaries while the film is believed to be a screen adaptation of author Carley Fortune’s bestselling romance novel Meet Me at the Lake.

In August 2023, Fortune told The Independent that Harry and Meghan’s production team had acquired the rights to adapt her novel, adding she was “thrilled” to work with Archewell and Netflix.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex kissing in a kitchen. The picture is part of a trailer for a new documentary called ‘Harry and Meghan’ – the Sussexes’ behind the scenes (Duke and Duchess of Sussex/Netflix/PA) (PA Media)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex kissing in a kitchen. The picture is part of a trailer for a new documentary called ‘Harry and Meghan’ – the Sussexes’ behind the scenes (Duke and Duchess of Sussex/Netflix/PA) (PA Media)

“I’m so thrilled about working with Netflix and Archewell to bring Meet Me at the Lake to the screen,” she said in a statement. “Will and Fern’s love story is dear to my heart, and I can’t imagine a more perfect partnership.”

The book follows Will and Fern, “two strangers on a daylong adventure where they make a promise one keeps and the other breaks, with life-changing effects”.

The update from Netflix came on the same day that Harry and Meghan released a new statement about online child safety on their Archewell website.

The couple, who have two children, called for urgent change to child safety on social media, noting that the “best parenting in the world cannot keep children safe from these platforms”.

Harry and Meghan spoke out after the chief executives of Meta, TikTok, X and other social media giants gave evidence before the US Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, in front of parents whose children suffered or died because of online harm.

In the statement, the couple said the issue transcended division and party lines and this is “not the time to pass the buck of responsibility”.

It was accompanied by a video taken at an event last October, when Harry and Meghan met with grieving parents.

“The best parenting in the world cannot keep children safe from these platforms,” their statement read. “As one of the fathers shared with us: ‘If love could have saved them, all of our children would still be here.’”

The Sussexes’ public statement comes at a time when the King and the Prince and Princess of Wales are all away from official engagements, as Charles recovers from treatment for an enlarged prostate and William cares for Kate as she recuperates from abdominal surgery.

Harry and Meghan’s Netflix deal has been heavily scrutinised in the wake of the collapse of their Spotify partnership last year.

Last June, the audio company announced it had terminated its £18m deal with the Sussexes after just one season of Meghan’s podcast Archetypes.

At the time, insiders cited by the Wall Street Journal claimed the deal fell through after Spotify bosses were left “underwhelmed” by their alleged inability to meet the productivity benchmark laid out in the 2020 deal.

Additional reporting on wires