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Streaming Roundup (4/2/21), Including ‘Knives Out 2’ and ‘The 1619 Project’

Fern Siegel

“Knives Out 2” and “Knives Out 3” will stream on Netflix, which shelled out $450 million for the rights. Both follow the original 2019 murder mystery currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Directed by Rian Johnson (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”), it features 007 star Daniel Craig, who plays ace PI Benoit Blanc. The first film, boasting an all-star cast, was about a famous mystery writer (Christopher Plummer) murdered in his extraordinary house, with his family downstairs.

Here’s a look at other deals and upcoming projects:

  • “The 1619 Project” will debut on Hulu. Oscar winner Roger Ross Williams will produce the documentary series, based on The New York Times Magazine and Nikole Hannah-Jones’ “The 1619 Project,” which focused on the centrality of slavery in U.S. history and how it impacted all aspects of American life. “1619” was launched in August 2019 on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to the English colonies.

  • Sarah Michelle Gellar will star in the comedy “Hot Pink,” which is being developed at Amazon Prime Video. Looking to expand its YA content, Amazon ordered the pilot, inspired by Elana K. Arnold’s book “What Girls Are Made Of.” Gellar is best known for the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” series.

  • The “Head of the Class” reboot will be a comedy series at HBO Max. The half-hour adaptation of the ABC sitcom focuses on a group of overachieving high-school students and their teacher (Isabella Gomez, “One Day at a Time”), who wants them more involved with life than grades. The original “Head of the Class” premiered in 1986 and ran for five seasons on ABC until 1991.

  • Colin Firth will play Michael Peterson in an eight-episode series “The Staircase,” which has been ordered by HBO Max. It’s based on the docuseries of the same name and various books and reports on the case. Peterson was accused of murdering his wife, Kathleen, in 2001. He claimed she fell down the stairs, but police suspected he beat her to death and staged the scene. Netflix released it as a 13-episode series in 2018.

  • Barry Jenkins, writer-director of “Moonlight,” and his Pastel partners have a two-year first-look deal with HBO-HBO Max. Distributor A24, which handled “Moonlight,” will executive produce all projects from the trio. Jenkins, Adele Romanski and Mark Ceryak had previously been under a first-look pact at Amazon Studios. The new agreement allows for A24 to work with Pastel outside of the HBO/HBO Max first-look umbrella.

  • Sandbox Kids, the on-demand digital subscription service for children and families worldwide, was formed when Sandbox & Co. bought Fingerprint. Nancy MacIntyre will serve as CEO. Sandbox Kids will offer kid-safe, age-appropriate digital content to the 1.1 billion kids globally with access to mobile devices. Sandbox Kids spans more than 8,000 videos, games, interactive books, songs, podcasts and audio stories, available globally in more than 100 countries and 23 languages.

  • Dan Stevens will replace Armie Hammer as John Dean in “Gaslit,” the Starz series about the Watergate scandal. Julia Roberts co-stars as Martha Mitchell, one of the first people to expose the corruption. Sean Penn plays her husband, Attorney General John Mitchell. As White House counsel, Dean had to decide if he would lie to protect President Nixon. Stevens is best known for “Downton Abbey.”

“Knives Out” trailer

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