Sky / NOW TV Announce ‘Biggest Ever’ Original Content Push

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Sky and their streaming TV arm, NOW TV, will be bringing their “biggest ever line-up” of new and exclusive original films and TV programmes in 2021, in an effort to battle intense competition from the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

According to Sky, this year will bring with it to their services 50% more original TV and films than last year, including 30 new Sky Original films and 30 new Sky Original documentaries (see upcoming highlights down below).

The films will be a mix of British and American productions, featuring some of the biggest stars with Judi Dench, Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, Eddie Izzard, Hugh Bonneville, Keeley Hawes, Michael Caine and others.

Sky Q on screen
Photo: Sky

Earlier this month, Sky also announced a deal with STUDIOCANAL, that would bring hundreds of cinema hits to its Sky Cinema channels.

The announcements come after Netflix’ recent promise to release at least one new original film every single week this year. 

With increasing competition from the American streaming giants, Sky is planning to more than double its investment in original content by 2024.

The original content will, in most cases, be exclusive to Sky’s subscribers, and will only be available to watch on Sky and NOW TV.

NOW TV is Sky’s streaming TV platform (see our NOW TV review and guide). It doesn’t require a lengthy contract, and gives subscribers flexible packages (“passes”) of content – Entertainment, Cinema, Kids and Sports. 

Originals Coming To Sky / NOW TV In 2021 / 2022

Some of the original films and TV shows coming in the next couple of years are:

Upcoming Original Drama

Wolfe: Babou Ceesay (Guerilla, Rogue One) stars as a lauded forensic pathologist in this new drama written by Paul Abbott (Shameless, No Offence, Clocking Off). Coming Autumn 2021 

The Midwich Cuckoos: John Wyndham’s classic science fiction novel is given a modern adaptation for the screen by David Farr (The Night Manager). Coming in 2022 

Extinction: A propulsive action thriller about a man who joins an organisation that can turn back time in order to save the planet from catastrophic events. Written by Joe Barton (Giri/Haji) and starring Paapa Essiedu (I May Destroy You), Tom Burke (Strike), Anjli Mohindra (Bodyguard) and Caroline Quentin (Men Behaving Badly). Coming in 2022

Extinction Paapa Essiedu sky
Extinction with Paapa Essiedu (Photo: Sky)

This Sceptred Isle: BAFTA and Emmy award-winning actor Kenneth Branagh will play UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. The five-part drama will chart the events surrounding the UK Prime Minister, the government, and the country in the face of the first wave of the global pandemic. Coming in Autumn 2022

Upcoming Original Documentaries

Liverpool Narcos: In the 1980s, Liverpool became the epicentre of a drugs boom that was to change Britain forever. With unprecedented access to some of the biggest players, this is the story of how drugs went mainstream and dealing became a multi-billion pound business. Coming in Spring 2021

The Bambers: Murder at the Farm: Using first-hand testimony and unseen archive footage to re-examine the shocking events at White House Farm, this documentary explores evidence that has emerged since the original trial of Jeremy Bamber. From Executive Producers Louis Theroux and Arron FellowsComing in 2021 

Positive: Positive marks Britain’s 40-year struggle with HIV/AIDS, through interviews with some of the earliest HIV patients and real-life heroes. Coming in Winter 2021 

Gangs of Macaque Island: A light-hearted animal docu-soap, following the daily lives of rival black-crested macaque troops in the remote forests of Sulawesi’s Tangkoko National Park in Indonesia. Coming in Winter 2021 

Chernobyl 86:Chernobyl ’86 tells the story of Chernobyl through newly discovered archive footage and original interviews with those who were there. Directed by Emmy Award winner James JonesComing in 2022

Upcoming Original Entertainment and Comedy

Safe Space: A psychotherapist in a small market town dispenses advice to his clients to suit his own desperate need to control them. Starring, written and created by BAFTA-winning comedian Greg DaviesComing in 2022

Russell Howard’s Back to the Future stand up show (wt) Russell Howard will be travelling around New Zealand and Australia in this new travelogue punctuated by stand-up comedy. Coming Summer 2021

Upcoming Original Films

Save The Cinema: Samantha Morton, Jonathan Pryce, Adeel Akhtar, Susan Wokoma and Tom Felton star in this new British film based on true events. Liz Evans makes it her mission to stop her local cinema from being demolished. Coming Winter 2021 

The United States v Billie Holiday: In the 1940’s, the US government targeted beloved jazz icon Billie Holiday as part of their war on drugs, to prevent her from performing her heart-wrenching ballad “Strange Fruit,” a defiant cry against lynching. Directed by Lee Daniels, written by Suzan-Lori Parks and starring Andra DayComing February 26 

The US VS Billie Holiday
The US VS Billie Holiday (Photo: Sky TV)

A Boy Called Christmas: An ordinary young boy called Nikolas sets out on an ex-traordinary adventure into the snowy north in search of his father who is on a quest to discover the fabled village of the elves, Elfhelm. Based on the bestselling book by Matt Haig, starring Jim Broadbent, Maggie Smith, Kristen Wiig, Sally Hawkins and Toby Jones, produced by Blueprint Pictures and StudioCanal and directed by Gil KenanComing Winter 2021 

A Boy Called Christmas Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith, A Boy Called Christmas (Photo: Sky)

Kindred: A psychological thriller about a vulnerable mother-to-be who is taken in by her recently deceased boyfriend’s mother and stepson, who seem increasingly obsessed with her every move. Starring Fiona Shaw (Killing Eve), Tamara Lawrence (The Long Song) and Jack Lowden (Mary Queen of Scots, Dunkirk). Coming Summer 2021 

Creation Stories: Written by Irvine Welsh and Dean Cavanagh, Creation Stories charts the true story of the rise and fall of Creation Records and its infamous founder Alan McGee, who signed generation-defining bands such as Oasis and Primal Scream. Coming 20 March 2021 

Creation Stories sky
Creation Stories (Photo: Sky)

Breaking News in Yuba County: A dark and twisted comedy that explores the outrageous lengths some people will go to in order to garner some much-desired attention. Starring Allison Janney, Mila Kunis and AwkwafinaComing Spring 2021 

Six Minutes to Midnight: Emmy Award winner Eddie Izzard and Academy Award winner Judi Dench battle to protect a group of students from the grip of Hitler in this World War II thriller. Coming 26 March 2021 

The Comeback Trail: Two movie producers who owe money to the mob set up their ageing movie star for an insurance scam to try and save themselves. Starring Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones and Zach Braff. Coming Summer 2021 

Antebellum: A terrifying new thriller with a kiss of horror from the producer of the acclaimed films Get Out and Us, starring Janelle MonáeComing April 2021 

The Glorias: The Glorias is the female-led story of feminist icon Gloria Steinem; known for her world-shaping activism, guidance of the revolutionary women’s movement, and writing that has impacted generations. Written and directed by Julie Taymor. Coming 7 March 2021 

Every Breath You Take: Academy Award-winning actor Casey Affleck stars as a psychiatrist who finds his life in turmoil following the sudden suicide of his patient. When he invites his patient’s surviving brother (Sam Claflin) into his home to meet his wife (Michelle Monaghan) and daughter, his family life and career are suddenly torn apart. Coming Summer/Autumn 2021 

Extinct Op and Ed are two adorable doughnut-shaped animals — FLUMMELS — who accidentally time-travel from 1835 to modern-day Shanghai. Starring Rachel Bloom, Adam Devin and Ken Jeong. Coming Summer 2021

Monster Family 2: To free Baba Yaga and Renfield from the clutches of Monster Hunter Mila Starr, the Wishbone Family once more transforms into a Vampire, Frankenstein’s Monster, a Mummy and a Werewolf. Starring Jason Isaacs, Emily Watson and Nick FrostComing October 2021

The Secrets We KeepIn post-WWII America, a woman rebuilding her life in the suburbs with her husband kidnaps her neighbour and seeks vengeance for the heinous war crimes she believes he committed against her. Starring Noomi Rapace, Chris Messina and Joel KinnamanComing Spring 2021 

Jolt A female-driven action-comedy that follows Lindy (Kate Beckinsale), a bouncer with a murderous anger management problem that she controls with the help of an electrode-lined vest to shock herself back into normalcy whenever she feels homicidal. Starring Stanley Tucci and Laverne CoxComing – date TBC

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