Japan Sinks: 2020
What it’s about: Japan Sinks: 2020 is an adaptation of the ultra-popular 1973 disaster novel of the same name by Sakyo Komatsu, one of the most important writers in the Japanese sci-fi scene. The novel picked up the Seiun Award in 1974 (the Japanese equivalent of the Hugo Awards) for its intriguing mesh of science fiction and political thriller as it depicts how the Japanese government and society responds to the scenario that the country is slowly sinking into the sea.
Why watch it: The 2020 adaptation will see the original ’70s settings contemporised and focuses more on how ordinary civilians take to survival in this disaster – kinda mirrors what the world is going through this year, no? Besides which, it’s also a Netflix worldwide exclusive – a good indicator of how much has been invested into this new adaptation. Award-winning director Masaaki Yuasa is the man helming the 10-episode series.
When it’s available: July 9
The Old Guard
What it’s about: This film is heralded as Netflix’s major tentpole number for the summer. Based on the critically acclaimed comic book series by Greg Rucka and Leonardo Fernandez, The Old Guard focuses on a group of ancient, immortal mercenaries working throughout history – we’re talking 6,000 years old for the oldest member, Andromache of Scythia, played by Charlize Theron.
Why watch it: This may well prove to be the temporary balm to the recent dearth of comic book movies lately (thanks, Miss Rona) and besides which, it’s a pretty solid ensemble cast here. Aside from headliner Theron, there’s also breakout star KiKi Layne (If Beale Street Could Talk), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) as well as Marwan Kenzari, Matthias Schoenaerts and Ngo Thanh Van.
When it’s available: July 10
What it’s about: A retelling of a familiar Arthurian legend – this time not so much on King Arthur but rather on the origins of Nimue, the future Lady Of the Lake. The story starts with the slaughter of Nimue’s magic-sensitive people, which sets her on the path to extract some vengeance with the attainment of the all-famous sword, Excalibur, as well as a meeting with Merlin the wizard.
Why watch it: The fantasy series The Witcher ranked among Netflix’s most-watched series last year despite only launching in the very tail end of 2019 and the streaming service even announced it’d be filming a second season even before the first season launched. There’s clearly a massive audience for fantasy series (especially after Game of Thrones vacated the well, throne) and Cursed could potentially be Netflix’s next big hit.
When it’s available: July 17