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Netflix is headed west.
The streaming giant has handed out a six-episode, straight-to-series order for American Primeval, a limited drama set to star Taylor Kitch and from exec producers Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) and Eric Newman (Narcos).
Described as an ensemble drama, Netflix described the series as a “raw, adventurous exploration of the birth of the American West. The violent collisions of cultures, religions and communities as men and women fight and die for control of this new world — for a land they truly believe is their destiny. The [series] tells a story of the sacrifice all must pay when they choose to enter a lawless and untamed wilderness.”
Kitsch will star as Isaac, a traumatized man struggling to overcome his demons and find a reason to live in this brutal and punishing world.
Mark L. Smith (The Revenant) will write all six episodes and exec produce the series alongside Newman and Berg. The latter will direct all six episodes via his Film 44 banner’s first-look deal with Netflix. American Primeval is the latest series to stem from Newman’s own overall deal with his Grand Electric banner with the streamer, joining Narcos, spinoff Narcos: Mexico, feature Project Power, Kevin Hart thriller True Story, sci-fi film Spiderhead and Ryan Murphy’s The Watcher. Next, Newman will produce Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon and the Netflix limited series Painkiller, with Berg attached to direct and Kitsch set to star. The series is due next year. Newman also next has Griselda for Netflix.
“American Primeval is a portrait of the American West unlike any other — raw, thrilling, action-driven and brought to life by a tapestry of emotionally compelling characters led by the talented Taylor Kitsch. We’re excited to explore new depths of this genre as we grow our creative partnership with the extraordinary Pete Berg at the helm backed by the deft storytelling vision from Eric Newman and Mark L. Smith,” said Peter Friedlander, vp scripted series U.S. and Canada at Netflix.
Added Berg: “We are very appreciative that Netflix is trusting us to take a big swing with American Primeval. I’m looking forward to taking viewers into the most dynamic, intense and heart-pounding survival tale humanly possible. We are going into the belly of the beast. Cheers to Ted [Sarandos], Bela [Bajaria], Peter and the entire Netflix team for the support!”
American Primeval comes as Paramount Network’s Taylor Sheridan helmed Western Yellowstone, starring Kevin Costner, continues to set ratings records and find new audiences via its streaming deal with Peacock. The success of Yellowstone has led to Sheridan creating a so-called “Dutton-verse” that features multiple spinoffs of the hit franchise while also reinvigorating interest the Western genre.
Kitsch’s credits include Friday Night Lights, The Terminal List, True Detective and The Normal Heart.
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