Sky has taken the wraps off its biggest ever line-up of Sky Originals TV and film for 2021 and 2022, as it ramps up its content offering to compete with streaming rivals Netflix, Disney+ and Prime Video.
Debuting on Sky Q and Now TV will be 30 new Sky Original films and 30 new Sky Original documentaries, twice the amount of original content it landed in 2020.
Sky Cinema will see at least two new original films every month, escalating to one a week from 2022. The broadcaster recently signed an acquisition deal with StudioCanal, giving it first access to the studio’s 2021 movie launches.
The bumper schedule is part of Sky’s commitment to more than double its investment in original content by 2024. Work continues on Sky Studios Elstree, its new TV and film studio in North London.
Sky Cinema will see at least two new original films every month, escalating to one a week from 2022…
High end drama looks particularly well served. After winning the BAFTA for best mini-series for the last two years (Chernobyl and Patrick Melrose), there are four new series on their way from TV writers Paul Abbott (Shameless, No Offence) with Wolfe, David Farr (The Night Manager) with The Midwich Cuckoos and Joe Barton (Giri/Haji) with Extinction and Michael Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People) with This Sceptered Isle.
On the original documentary front, there’s an exploration of how Liverpool became the epicentre of a drugs boom that was to change Britain forever (Liverpool Narcos), a look at newly discovered footage from the Chernobyl disaster (Chernobyl 86), the story of Britain’s 40-year struggle with HIV/AIDS (Positive) and a forensic examination of the case of Jeremy Bamber and the White House Farm Murders (The Bambers: Murder at the Farm), executive produced by Louis Theroux and Aaron Fellows.
New original dramas include…
Wolfe: Babou Ceesay (Rogue One) stars as a lauded forensic pathologist in this new drama written by Paul Abbott (Shameless). Coming Autumn 2021.
The Midwich Cuckoos: John Wyndham’s classic science fiction novel is given a modern adaptation for the screen by David Farr (The Night Manager). Coming in 2022
Extinction: an action thriller about a man who joins an organisation that can turn back time in order to save the planet from catastrophic events. Written by Joe Barton (Giri/Haji) and starring Paapa Essiedu (I May Destroy You), Tom Burke (Strike), Anjli Mohindra (Bodyguard) and Caroline Quentin (Men Behaving Badly). Coming in 2022
This Sceptred Isle, in which Kenneth Branagh will play UK PM Boris Johnson. The five-part drama will chart the events surrounding the government and country in the face of the first wave of the global pandemic. Coming in Autumn 2022
Also landing in 2021 is Landscapers starring Olivia Colman, new prison break drama Intergalactic and a return for Britannia and Temple.
Comedy commissions include Safe Space – A psychotherapist in a small market town dispenses advice to his clients to suit his own desperate need to control them – starring, written and created by BAFTA-winning comedian Greg Davies, coming in 2022, and Russell Howard’s Back to the Future stand up show.
Due to return are Breeders (Martin Freeman, Daisy Haggard), Code 404 (Stephen Graham, Daniel Mays) Intelligence (David Schwimmer, Nick Mohammed), and Brassic (Joe Gilgun, Michelle Keegan), as well as BAFTA Award-winning A League of their Own (Jamie Redknapp, Freddie Flintoff, Romesh) and The Russell Howard Hour.
Sky Original films include…
Save The Cinema: Samantha Morton, Jonathan Pryce, Adeel Akhtar, Susan Wokoma and Tom Felton star in this new British film based on true events. Liz Evans makes it her mission to stop her local cinema from being demolished. Coming Winter 2021.
The United States v Billie Holiday: In the 1940’s, the US government targeted beloved jazz icon Billie Holiday as part of their war on drugs, to prevent her from performing her heart-wrenching ballad ‘Strange Fruit’ a defiant cry against lynching. Directed by Lee Daniels, written by Suzan-Lori Parks and starring Andra Day. Coming February 26.
A Boy Called Christmas: An ordinary young boy called Nikolas sets out on an adventure into the snowy north in search of his father who is on a quest to discover the fabled village of Elfhelm. Based on the bestselling book by Matt Haig, starring Jim Broadbent, Maggie Smith, Kristen Wiig, Sally Hawkins and Toby Jones. Coming Winter 2021.
Kindred: A psychological thriller about a vulnerable mother-to-be who is taken in by her recently deceased boyfriend’s mother and stepson, who seem increasingly obsessed with her every move. Starring Fiona Shaw (Killing Eve), Tamara Lawrence (The Long Song) and Jack Lowden (Mary Queen of Scots). Coming Summer 2021.
Creation Stories: Written by Irvine Welsh and Dean Cavanagh, Creation Stories charts the true story of the rise and fall of Creation Records and its infamous founder Alan McGee, who signed generation-defining bands such as Oasis and Primal Scream. Coming 20 March 2021.
Breaking News in Yuba County: A dark comedy that explores the outrageous lengths some people will go to in order to garner some much-desired attention. Starring Allison Janney, Mila Kunis and Awkwafina. Coming Spring 2021.
Six Minutes to Midnight: Eddie Izzard and Judi Dench battle to protect a group of students from the grip of Hitler in this World War II thriller. Coming 26 March 2021.
The Comeback Trail: Two movie producers who owe money to the mob set up their aging movie star for an insurance scam to try and save themselves. Starring Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones and Zach Braff. Coming Summer 2021.
Antebellum: A new thriller with a touch of horror from the producer of the acclaimed films Get Out and Us, starring Janelle Monáe. Coming April 2021.
The Glorias: The story of feminist icon Gloria Steinem; known for her world-shaping activism, guidance of the revolutionary women’s movement, and writing that has impacted generations. Written and directed by Julie Taymor. Coming 7 March 2021.
Every Breath You Take: Casey Affleck stars as a psychiatrist who finds his life in turmoil following the sudden suicide of his patient. When he invites his patient’s surviving brother (Sam Claflin) into his home to meet his wife (Michelle Monaghan) and daughter, his family life and career are suddenly torn apart. Coming Summer/Autumn 2021.
Extinct: Op and Ed are two adorable donut-shaped animals, Flannels, who accidentally time-travel from 1835 to modern-day Shanghai. Starring Rachel Bloom, Adam Devin and Ken Jeong. Coming Summer 2021.
Monster Family 2: To free Baba Yaga and Renfield from the clutches of Monster Hunter Mila Starr, the Wishbone Family once more transforms into a Vampire, Frankenstein’s Monster, a Mummy and a Werewolf. Starring Jason Isaacs, Emily Watson and Nick Frost. Coming October 2021.
The Secrets We Keep: In post-WWII America, a woman rebuilding her life in the suburbs with her husband kidnaps her neighbour and seeks vengeance for the heinous war crimes she believes he committed against her. Starring Noomi Rapace, Chris Messina and Joel Kinnaman. Coming Spring 2021.
Jolt: A female driven action-comedy that follows Lindy (Kate Beckinsale), a bouncer with a murderous anger management problem that she controls with the help of an electrode-lined vest to shock herself back into normalcy whenever she feels homicidal. Starring Stanley Tucci and Laverne Cox.