“Stranger Things” creators the Duffer Brothers have announced a new production company — Upside Down Pictures — for film and television projects as part of their overall deal with Netflix. The Duffer brothers will also produce new “Stranger Things” projects, among an expanded slate of titles.
Hilary Leavitt (“Orphan Black,” “Ozark”) has been hired to run Upside Down Pictures.
According to The Duffer Brothers, Upside Down Pictures will “aim to create the kind of stories that inspired the Duffers growing up — stories that take place at that beautiful crossroads where the ordinary meets the extraordinary, where big spectacle co-exists with intimate character work, where heart wins out over cynicism.”
The Duffer Brothers and Netflix also announced a growing slate of projects in active development:
- an all-new live-action television adaptation of the renowned Japanese manga and anime series “Death Note”;
- an original series from creators Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews (Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance);
- a series adaptation of Stephen King and Peter Straub‘s The Talisman alongside Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and Paramount Television to be created by Curtis Gwinn;
- a new stage play set within the world and mythology of “Stranger Things,” produced by Sonia Friedman, Stephen Daldry (“The Crown,” Billy Elliot, The Reader) and Netflix; and
- a live-action “Stranger Things” spin-off series based on an original idea by The Duffer Brothers, with Upside Down and 21 Laps producing.
The Duffer Brothers most recently released the fourth season of the Netflix series “Stranger Things,” which they wrote, directed and executive produced. “Stranger Things” season four is now No. 1 on Netflix’s (all time) Most Popular English TV list with 1.15 billion hours viewed in its first 28 days — only the second series to cross the billion-hour viewing mark, with the final tally expected to be higher as volume two of the season reaches the 28-day viewing period. The third season released in 2019 still holds at No. 3 on the chart.
“It didn’t take long into our first meeting with Hilary, where we bonded over films like Jaws, Home Alone and Speed, to know we had found a kindred spirit,” Matt and Ross Duffer said in a statement. “Hilary’s passion for storytelling is perhaps matched only by her passion for the storytellers themselves, for whom she is fiercely protective. No wonder so many writers and directors are drawn to working with her. She is a rare talent indeed, and we feel extremely grateful to have her at our side as we build Upside Down Pictures.”
“Matt and Ross are an exceptionally unique talent with a vision so crisp and clear,” said Ted Sarandos in a statement. “They are all about the details — it’s no accident that ‘Stranger Things’ has pierced the zeitgeist to become the epic pop culture phenomenon it is today. We’re excited to continue telling new stories with them as they grow Upside Down Pictures and to welcome Hilary as creative partner.”
“I remember the first movie I saw in the theater, the first VHS tape I got for Christmas, the first international one-sheet I bid for on eBay because it was cooler than the domestic,” Hilary Leavitt said in a statement. “And the first time I met Matt and Ross. All of these seminal moments have led to this ridiculously cool opportunity to build a company with the Duffer Brothers where we produce movies and television because we love movies and television. This love is at the core of Upside Down Pictures, where we’re able to collaborate with other artists on projects across the full spectrum of genre. We all love what we do and are excited to do more and more.”