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Peacock announces original film slate from John Woo, LeBron James & more for 2023

Peacock is making a bigger push into original movies in 2023 with three high-profile projects.

By Matthew Jackson

In the nearly two years since it launched, NBCUniversal's streaming platform Peacock has featured an intriguing rotating catalog of classic films and TV series, coupled with originals including the horror-comedy series Wolf Like Me, the Fresh Prince of Bel Air reimagining Bel Air, and much more. It's also featured same-day streaming debuts for new films from Universal Pictures, including horror hits like Halloween Kills, romantic comedies like Marry Me and the upcoming Firestarter.

Now, Peacock's push for original content is growing, including a slate of three new original films from high-profile creators arriving next year.

Peacock announced Monday that its upcoming slate of original films, part of previously announced partnership with Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, will include three new releases exclusive to the service arriving in 2023. The films are varied in both subject matter and behind-the-scenes creators, and the biggest news for genre fans is the inclusion of the next film by legendary action director John Woo. The veteran filmmaker, who began his career with a string of Hong Kong classics like Hard Boiled before moving into English-language action through movies like Face/Off, will create a modern reimagining of his 1989 classic The Killer for Peacock. The original film, about an assassin who goes out for one last job in order to fund eye surgery for a singer he accidentally wounded, starred Woo mainstay Chow Yun-fat, and remains among the director's most celebrated movies.

But that's not the only new film hitting Peacock in 2023. The streamer also announced the biopic Shooting Stars, from basketball superstar LeBron James's production company, SpringHill. Produced by Rachel and Terence Winter, the new film will follow LeBron's early years as a high school basketball prospect ahead of his arrival in the 2003 NBA Draft. Production on the film is already underway in Akron, Ohio, James's hometown. 

Also on the slate for 2023: Praise This, a choir comedy from Girls Trip producer Will Packer, starring Chloe Bailey of musical duo Chloe x Halle. Bailey will star as a new member of local church choir, who decides that she can make her fellow singers a little more modernized as she pursues a music career of her own. But will her involvement with a hip hop star jeopardize everything she's working toward?

The three films do not have specific release dates yet, but all will arrive on the Peacock service at some point in 2023, as part of a continue push for a original programming that will drive subscribers to the service. As of last month, Peacock is home to 28 million active users in the United States, as well as 13 million paid subscribers, a notable increase from 24.5 million users and nine million subscribers at the end of 2021. 

Major upcoming releases on the streaming service include the new Stephen King adaptation Firestarter, the video game adaptation Twisted Metal, and the thriller competition series The Traitors