The Duffer Brothers, creators of Stranger Things, have announced the new production company Upside Down Pictures, while sharing plans for — deep breath — a Stranger Things stage play, a loosely-connected spinoff, a previously-announced series adaptation of Stephen King and Peter Straub‘s 1984 novel The Talisman, a live-action Death Note, and more.
Upside Down Pictures is named after Stranger Things, and specifically the alternate plane of existence that keeps finding ways to terrorize the denizens of Hawkins, Indiana. In a statement, twins Matt and Ross Duffer said they “aim to create the kind of stories that inspired [them] growing up — stories that take place at that beautiful crossroads where the ordinary meets the extraordinary, where big spectacle co-exists with intimate character work, where heart wins out over cynicism.”
The new company comes as part of an overall deal with Netflix, and the streamer is set to be involved with pretty much everything coming from Upside Down, including the stage play. That theatrical production is said to be “set within the world and mythology” of Stranger Things, a phrasing that leaves open the question of whether we’ll recognize any characters. Stephen Daldry (The Crown, Billy Elliot, The Reader) will direct, and he’ll also produce alongside Sonia Friedman and Netflix.
As for the live-action serialized spinoff, a press statement notes that it comes from the Duffer’s ideas — but won’t involve them directly. As they’ve previously noted, the spinoff will be “1000% different,” and they plan to “pass the baton” to a new creative team.
The Duffers have now spent four seasons proving their love of fantasy-horror, and Stephen King fans have got to be stoked to hear more about The Talisman. King’s collaboration with Straub follows a young boy who seeks a special crystal that he believes will stop his mother from dying of cancer. Curtis Gwinn, a writer and executive producer of Stranger Things with credits on Narcos, The Leftovers, and The Walking Dead, will create the show.
As for Death Note, the beloved Japanese manga-turned-37-episode anime already received a live-action adaptation in 2017, and by Netflix no less. They butchered it. But that was a movie, whereas this will be a series, and anyway The Duffers haven’t missed yet. Perhaps this is the rare live-action anime adaptation that deserves some cautious optimism. (Very cautious.)
Upside Down Pictures has one other project coming down the pipe, and all we know about this original series that it comes from Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews, best known for Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Before they get there, though, the Duffer brothers are faced with brining their star-making series to a close. Stranger Things Season 4 Part 2 dropped on July 1st, and the saga will end with Season 5.