Netflix Snaps Up Cate Blanchett's Refugee Drama 'Stateless' for Worldwide

'Stateless' Still — Publicity —EMBED 2020
Berlin International Film Festival

"We saw the series as a conversation starter," says Blanchett, who plays a fictional cult leader in Stateless.

The NBCU show, also starring Yvonne Strahovski, Jai Courtney, Asher Keddie, Fayssal Bazzi and Dominic West, is having its world premiere at the Berlinale Series.

Netflix has taken worldwide rights – outside of Australia – to the six-part refugee-focused drama Stateless, co-created by and starring double Oscar winner Cate Blanchett. 

The news was announced from Berlin ahead of the show's premiere in the Berlinale Series. From Dirty Films and NBCUniversal International Studios' Matchbox Pictures, Stateless is set to launch on ABC in Australia on March 1 and premiere on Netflix across the rest of the world later this year.

Also starring Yvonne Strahovski, Jai Courtney, Asher Keddie, Fayssal Bazzi and Dominic West and introducing newcomer Soraya Heidari, Stateless centers on four characters – an airline hostess, an Afghan refugee, a young father of three and an ambitious bureaucrat – caught up in one of Australia's notorious immigration detention centers. Each character deals with the contradictions of protection and border control from a different perspective, which the filmmakers hope will offer a relevant and timely insight into issues that countries around the world are grappling with. Five years in the making, it was initially inspired by Cornelia Rau, a German citizen and permanent resident of Australia who was unlawfully detained in 2004.

Stateless was created by Blanchett alongside Elise McCredie and Tony Ayres and produced by Matchbox Pictures and Blanchett and Andrew Upton’s Dirty Films for the ABC.

Stateless has been a labor of love for many years, and we could not be more thrilled that it will reach an international audience on Netflix," said Blanchett, McCredie and Ayres. "The issues addressed in the series have universal resonance but have been cloaked in silence and muddied by fear and misinformation. Our hope is that Stateless will generate a global conversation around our systems of border protection and how our humanity has been affected by them."

Added Matchbox Pictures managing director Alastair McKinnon: “Stateless is a drama series that thrillingly taps into one of the biggest sociopolitical issues of our time, and Netflix, with its unparalleled global reach, is the perfect platform to take this brilliant series to the world.”

The series is written by McCredie and Belinda Chayko and is directed by Emma Freeman and Jocelyn Moorhouse. It is produced by Sheila Jayadev and Paul Ranford for Matchbox Pictures with Blanchett, Upton and Ayres as exec producers. McCredie and Liz Watts also serve as executive producers. ABC executive producers are Sally Riley and Andrew Gregory. NBCUniversal Global Distribution holds the international licensing rights to the series. Stateless received production investment from Screen Australia and the ABC and is financed with support from the South Australian Film Corporation. Matchbox Pictures is an NBCUniversal International Studios company, which is a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios.