Prime Video might be pulling back from Southeast Asian originals, but Netflix is doubling down on originals in the region.
The streamer has unveiled several titles from Indonesia and Thailand, and a Chinese-language slate for 2024.
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One of the bigger titles on the streamer’s Indonesian slate is sci-fi series Nightmares and Daydreams, which marks Netflix’s first collaboration with Joko Anwar.
Anwar’s horror films are often well-received at the box office, with Satan’s Slaves and its sequel both in the top 10 list for highest-grossing films in the country.
Director Timo Tjahjanto will return with action film The Shadow Strays, after making comedy action flick The Big 4 in 2022, which became the second most-watched non-English film on the streamer. The Shadow Strays will star Ario Bayu, Lukman Sardi, Marissa Anita, Nirina Zubir, Sita Nursanti, Fachri Albar and Asmara Abigail.
The Indonesian slate also includes Borderless Fog, which stars Putri Marino, as well as Titik Nol, directed by Herwin Novianto and starring former basketball pro-turned-actor Denny Sumargo.
Last year, Netflix invested in several Indonesia titles, including Cigarette Girl and Ice Cold: Murder, Coffee and Jessica Wongso. The country is Southeast Asia’s most populous country, with a growing streaming market.
In Thailand, the slate includes Doctor Climax (premiering in May), with Kongdej Jaturanrasamee onboard as writer and director. He wrote and produced Hunger, which was one of the streamer’s top non-English titles in 2023.
Other titles include sci-fi series Tomorrow and I, which stars Ray Macdonald, Aelm Thavornsiri and Pongsatorn Jongwilas, as well as rom-com Ready, Set, Love (premiering February 15), The Believers (premiering March 27), Doctor Climax and family drama Master of the House.
The orders are in stark contrast to Prime Video, which we revealed last month had pulled the plug on original production in Southeast Asia and moved to a “leaner operating model,” as part of the global wave of redundancies.
Netflix’s Chinese-language slate will include comedy series Let’s Talk About CHU, which explores the intricacies of sex and love, as well as Born for the Spotlight, which stars Hsieh Ying-hsuan and Cheryl Yang. The second season of detective series The Victims’ Game will also premiere this year on the platform, becoming the first Chinese-language title renewed by Netflix.
The streamer has bolstered its Chinese-language content over the last year, with thriller series Copycat Killer gaining significant traction globally. Workplace drama Wave Makers also sparked public discussions in Taiwan about gender, politics and media. At the 58th Golden Bell Awards in Taiwan, Netflix clinched 40 nominations and 12 wins across four Taiwanese series.
Another title is a spin-off series GG Precinct, based on the Taiwanese box office hit Marry My Dead Body. The film was Taiwan’s entry for the 2024 Oscars. Greg Hsu reprises his role as a police detective in the show.
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