Over the past several months, production on movies and TV series has been shut down across the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite this, Netflix co-CEO chief content officer Ted Sarandos stressed in April that the streamer won’t run out of new content during the global health crisis because it works “really far out relative to the industry.” This was around the time that the streamer garnered a record number of new subscribers amid the pandemic.
Now, Netflix co-founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings is reiterating that the streamer is doing well with respect to upcoming content, and even went so far as to promise more Netflix Originals in 2021 than in 2020.
“Next year, we’ve planned out the year — we’ve got a great selection of content. It’s still more originals than this year,” Hastings told Variety. “It’s not up by as much as we first forecast, but it is up on a year-over-year basis.”
It’s unclear exactly how many originals Netflix will have released in 2020 when the year is said and done, so it’s difficult to have too much context for what, exactly, Hastings is promising in terms of volume of content. That said, Netflix released 371 TV shows and movies in the U.S. in 2019, according to Variety, so 2020 presumably will have more than that, and, should Hastings be accurate, there will be even more to come in 2021.
Having said that, Hastings did note that “we’re all hopeful for a vaccine, so we can get back to more intensive work,” noting that all studios have had production affected during the pandemic. For now, productions that shut down have slowly been getting back to work, such as The Witcher Season 2, which was halted in March but resumed filming in August. Meanwhile, Stranger Things Season 4 and the Ryan Reynolds/The Rock/Gal Gadot-starring Red Notice are also expected to resume later this month.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that Netflix productions halt due to COVID-19 cases. The most notable example of this was Warner Bros.’ filming of The Batman in the U.K., which resumed after several months but was promptly shut down again after someone on set — reportedly none other than star Robert Pattinson — tested positive for COVID-19.
For now, at least, Netflix seems to be in a good position going forward.