What's Premiering on Netflix? 'Outlaw King,' 'Westside' & More
Friday, Nov. 9
This sweeping, 14th century – based drama tells the legendary tale of Robert the Bruce, the nobleman who united Scotland against the British in the face of overwhelming odds. Robert (Chris Pine, above, with Florence Pugh) is enraged when King Edward I (Stephen Dillane) and his army overtake Scotland. Soon, the rising demands and taxes imposed by British rule lead Robert to ascend the Scottish throne — an act of war.
“He is a conflicted hero,” Pine says, adding that it was “nerve-racking” to play the pivotal figure. “He is complex — driven in part by political ego, but he also made many decisions for the good of his country. He lost land, wealth and family, all in the service of his people.”
Robert is joined on his mission by his three brothers (Chris Fulton, Jack Greenlees and Lorne MacFadyen) and comrades James (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Angus (Tony Curran). Right away, they face a crushing defeat. But their resolve for independence, which ultimately takes years, doesn’t waver.
“[Robert] went from being one of the richest men in England and Scotland to becoming an outlaw — on the run, hounded by Edward’s army with only a few supporters on his side,” director David Mackenzie says. “But, he persisted.” —John Hogan
Been So Long
Movie Premiere, Available Now
Make a joyful noise! A film adaptation of the charming stage musical Been So Long is now available. Single mom Simone (Michaela Coel) and a handsome stranger (Arinzé Kene) have a fling. She isn’t looking for anything serious, but there’s a spark between them, something neither expected. Still, the road to romance is rocky and it won’t be easy for this couple to find harmony.
They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead
Documentary Premiere, Friday, Nov. 2
Morgan Neville directs this new doc about the final 15 years of Orson Welles’s life. As the auteur toiled on The Other Side of the Wind, he tried to reconcile his estrangement from Hollywood with his wish to escape the shadow of his 1941 masterpiece Citizen Kane.
The Other Side of the Wind
Movie Premiere, Friday, Nov. 2
Creating a follow-up to Citizen Kane plagued Orson Welles. His final work — a semi-autobiographical story about a filmmaker, starring John Huston — remained unfinished at Welles’s death in 1985. Now, his film can be seen for the first time, thanks to the efforts of Welles’s collaborators.
House of Cards
Friday, Nov. 2 President Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) continues her husband’s reign of terror.
Movie Premiere, Wednesday, Oct. 31
In the aftermath of World War I, the people of Spain must adjust to the country’s struggling economy. These tough times create a powder keg: Anarchists disrupt peace, and mercenaries take advantage of the chaos. In Barcelona, Catalan gangs spread violence around a beleaguered city, and military-grade weapons are falling into the hands of anarchists. Gun City, a new Spanish-language thriller, follows a police officer (Luis Tosar, below, with Vicente Romero) working as a double agent as he attempts to infiltrate the gang and bust this operation wide open…assuming he lives long enough.
Docuseries Premiere, Friday, Nov. 9
“Rejection is, like, all I know,” singer Pia Toscano (below) confesses on Westside. “I’ve been the underdog my whole life.”
Her eight friends know the feeling. Netflix’s new docuseries, set in Los Angeles, follows a group of young, hungry musicians — including Toscano, a Top 10 finalist on American Idol in 2011 — as they struggle to hit it big while balancing day jobs and navigating the social scene.
Yes, CMT’s Music City and VH1’s Love & Hip Hop have covered similar territory. But the difference here is the execution. Woven in with the story lines are slick music videos featuring the would-be stars performing songs that reflect the events of the episode.
“The music reinforces the story,” explains executive producer Kevin Bartel. “It’s like if you were following Taylor Swift in her early days, watched her go through a breakup and then saw the video for ‘Teardrops on My Guitar.’”
While the musical interludes are highly produced and worthy of MTV, the trials and tribulations of the nine key players remain raw. “We don’t shy away from vices and drug use, or bleep out curses,” says Bartel. “None of it is fabricated. It’s incredibly real.” —Eric Andersson
This article also appeared in the Oct 29 - Nov 11 issue of TV Guide Magazine.