As movie theaters closed their doors last spring amid the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, streaming platforms like Netflix swooped in to entertain the masses, who suddenly found themselves stuck at home for hours on end. After more than a year of financial devastation, theaters are finally seeing a slow rebound and are hoping for a box office renaissance this summer with tentpoles like Black Widow, Space Jam: A New Legacy, and The Suicide Squad.
While many people are returning to see movies en masse, a good chunk of the world's population is still hesitant (and understandably so) to brave theaters amid the ongoing health crisis.
That's where Netflix comes in to help with a brand-new sizzle reel for its summer 2021 release schedule. Despite reporting a dip in subscriber numbers within the first few months of 2021 (not surprising; as vaccinations increase and infections drop, people aren't spending as much time inside as they used to), the streamer wants its viewers to know that they can enjoy an entire blockbuster season's worth of new movies from the comfort of their own homes. And that's not an exaggeration — new releases will literally be dropping every single week from now through August.
Said reel, which debuted this morning, features never-before-seen footage for major titles like Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead; a trilogy of Fear Street films inspired by the works of R.L. Stine; The Mitchells vs. the Machines; and Rise of the Titans, a feature-length conclusion to Guillermo del Toro's Trollhounters series. "It's about escaping to somewhere new," the Oscar-winning del Toro says in the three-minute mega-trailer. It's a quote that pretty much encapsulates our collective desire of the last year to escape the seemingly endless woes of the current reality, even if it's just for a little while.
Snyder closes out the amalgamated teaser with a cheeky reference to his 4-hour cut of Justice League: "I love it. Just one note...can you make it any longer?"
Check out the sizzle reel below:
In addition to the titles mentioned above, Netflix's summer docket also includes: Blood Red Sky, a genre actioner set aboard an airplane hijacked by terrorists; Oxygen, a claustrophobic sci-fi thriller starring Mélanie Laurent; America: The Motion Picture, a humurous take on our the founding of the U.S.; The Loud House Movie, an expansion of the Nickelodeon series of the same name; Wish Dragon, an Sony animated feature about a wish-granting creature of myth; Things Heard & Seen, a horror flick starring Amanda Seyfreid; Ghost Lab, another spine-tingling project with a scientific twist; and Vivo, an animated musical featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda in the title role.
In particular, Vivo is a one-of-a-kind kinkajou — sometimes known as the "rainforest honey bear" — who embarks on a journey from Havana, Cuba to Miami, Florida in order to deliver a song on behalf of his owner/mentor, Andres (Juan de Marcos González). Teaming with composer Alex Lacamoire, Miranda wrote three original songs for the project. Kirk DeMicco (The Croods) and Brandon Jeffords (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2) co-directed from a script by Quiara Alegría Hudes (In the Heights).
The supporting voice cast features Gloria Estefan (Marta, the love of Andres' life), newcomer Ynairaly Simo (Gabi, Andres' grand-niece), Zoe Saldana (Rosa, Gabi’s mother), Michael Rooker Lutador (a villainous Everglades python), Brian Tyree Henry and Nicole Byer (a pair of star-crossed spoonbills), Leslie David Baker (a Florida bus driver), and Katie Lowes, Olivia Trujillo, and Lidya Jewett (a trio of well-meaning but overzealous scout troopers).
Here's the full schedule: