Netflix wants its own versions of Star Wars and Harry Potter

Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in Stranger Things season 4
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix has outlined its plans to create franchises in the mold of pop culture phenomena Star Wars and Harry Potter.

In a report by Reuters, which suggests the streamer is aiming to create franchises that "traverse film, television, games and consumer products", Netflix vice president Matthew Thunell said, "We want to have our version of Star Wars or our version of Harry Potter, and we're working very hard to build that." Thunell, though, urged caution: "But those are not built overnight."

Netflix isn’t planning to exactly replicate a galaxy far, far away and the Wizarding World in terms of genre, though its cross-media approach – Netflix has now hired in-house book scouts to snap up adaptations and has also established a video game division – aims to be similarly wide-reaching

But not everything is going to be ripe for a franchise. "It has to start with the story itself. Does it sustain that kind of expansion?" Thunell said. "There are some series like Stranger Things that are wildly successful, that do have the depth of mythology, and additional stories that allow you to move into animation or features or anime."

Stranger Things, then, appears to be Exhibit A for Netflix’s new all-conquering approach. Stranger Things season 5 will be the show’s last – but the story doesn’t end there.

Stranger Things creators The Duffer Brothers recently told the Happy Sad Confused podcast that they have plans for a potential spin-off that will be "1000% different" from the show.

On the spin-offs, Ross Duffer told SFX Magazine, "The key for us is that it needs to feel like its own distinct thing, not that we’re just retreading what we’ve already done, because what would be the point of that? I do think we have something that could be pretty exciting. So we’ll see…"

Next up for Netflix is actioner The Gray Man – starring Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, and Ana de Armas – which is available on Netflix from July 22. For more from the streamer, be sure to check out some of the best Netflix movies you can stream right now.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.