Monday, April 22, 2024

Netflix Maximizes Brand with “Stranger Things” Live Stage Play Prequel Story Coming to London’s West End


I was watching the great film, “The Reader,” the other night and wondering what its director, Stephen Daldry, was up to.

Now we know: he’s co- directing a play (with Justin Martin) with a new plot based on the Netflix hit “Stranger Things” in London’s West End. Sonia Friedman is producing, I guess this akin to her hit “Harry Potter” play on Broadway.

The new play, called “The First Shadow,” is by Kate Trefry, a writer and co-executive producer for the TV series. A press release says it “will be rooted in the mythology and world of the Netflix global phenomenon.”

“Stranger Things” is now filming its 5th and final season, which will be aired later this year on Netflix.

Here’s the plot of the play:
“Hawkins, 1959: a regular town with regular worries. Young Jim Hopper’s car won’t start, Bob Newby’s sister won’t take his radio show seriously and Joyce Maldonado just wants to graduate and get the hell out of town. When new student Henry Creel arrives, his family finds that a fresh start isn’t so easy… and the shadows of the past have a very long reach.”

So this is a prequel concerning Winona Ryder’s Joyce when she was in high school, and David Harbour’s Jim Hopper, etc. (Just a thought: Matthew Modine, aka Dr Brenner, is already in London starring in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and getting rave reviews. He could just stay and play Young Doctor Brenner.)

If it’s a hit, “The First Shadow” will cast one on Broadway, no doubt, in spring or fall 2024.

This is called Maximizing the Brand, folks. I can’t wait to see what 1959 rock classic will be revived with this play. “Stranger Things” have happened!
And what’s next? “Eleven: The Musical”? No doubt!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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