Netflix and Universal Television are teaming up on Blockbuster: a new comedy series documenting the lives of the staff at the last remaining Blockbuster store in the United States. Here’s a rundown of everything we know so far about the new series, headlined by Randall Park, and is filming until summer of 2022.
We first reported on the project back in early November 2021 with it then being officially confirmed by Netflix on November 17th. The series, created by Vanessa Ramos, will be 10 30-minute long episodes.
In a press release to Deadline, Tracey Pakosta who serves as head of comedy at Netflix said “This is ultimately the story of a dedicated group of co-workers, with a lot of heart. And now with the hilarious Randall Park signing on to play the lead, it’s a no-brainer.”
Who’s starring in Netflix’s Blockbuster series?
We’ve had three waves of cast members announced for Blockbuster so far. First up, Randall Park was confirmed to feature. Then we got word in mid-February 2022 that Melissa Fumero had joined the cast and then the remaining cast members were announced in March 2022.
Let’s run through them all and who they’re playing below.
Blockbuster is an ensemble comedy and will have six main lead characters:
- Randall Park (known for Wandavision, Always Be My Maybe, and Fresh Off the Boat) will play Timmy, one of the main leads who is described as a dreamer and a lover of movies.
- Melissa Fumero (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) will play Eliza who is a headstrong female in her 40s and dedicated mother whose marriage to her high school sweetheart is on the rocks. She left Harvard after one semester to start a family and now works at Blockbuster.
- Olga Merediz (In the Heights) will play Connie is described as maternal and that she works in Blockbuster because of the friends she’s made there and certainly not the money.
- Tyler Alvarez (Never Have I Ever) will play Carlos who is a young male in his 20s and is described movie aficionado which leads him to come off as a snob.
- Madeleine Arthur (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before) will play Hannah is a young girl in her 20s and described as a girl next door.
- JB Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm) will play Percy, the strip mall and parter store owner. His daughter works at the Blockbuster store.
- Kamaia Fairburn (Overlord and the Underwoods) will play Kayla who is the youngest of the main cast members who is described as stylish and too cool for school.
Elsewhere, we also know that Ashley Alexander who featured in 2015’s Love on the Sidelines will play Mila in the series and Robyn Bradley who featured in The CW’s Supergirl will appear as Miranda.
Who’s behind Blockbuster on Netflix?
Vanessa Ramos is spearheading the project for Universal and Netflix. Ramos has an impressive resume working as a co-producer on Superstore as well as serving as a writer on other NBC series such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Crashing, and Kenan. She’s also served as a consulting producer on Netflix’s Big Mouth series.
Also serving as writers on the series are David Caspe and Jackie Clarke. Caspe is most known for his work on Kenan and Black Monday but also served as a writer on the Adam Sandler flick, That’s My Boy.
John Davis will serve as an executive producer under his Davis Entertainment banner. David Entertainment worked on Shaft and Dolemite Is My Name for Netflix.
Jackie Clarke, David Caspe, John Fox, and Vanessa Ramos will serve as executive producers with Bridger Winegar and Robert Petrovic serving as co-executive producers.
Deadline revealed on February 10th that Payman Benz is on board to direct four episodes of the series (episodes 1, 2, 7, and 8). The director has worked on A.P. Bio, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and is directing episodes on the upcoming HBO Max series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty.
We can also reveal that Aleysa Young who has worked on the likes of Workin’ Moms, Ginny & Georgia, and Kim’s Convenience will direct in season 1.
Katharine Locke O’Brien is also on board to direct episodes in season 1 too. O’Brien has directed episodes of A.P. Bio, Kenan, Saved By The Bell, and Ghosts.
What’s Blockbuster on Netflix going to be about?
According to numerous descriptions, we’ve got a pretty good idea of what we can expect from the show.
In a world of perpetually available on-demand content, a group of nostalgic workers and their small-town community come together to try to save the last Blockbuster Video store in the world. The series explores what it takes – and more specifically who it takes – for a small business to succeed against all odds in a dying industry, in a dying strip mall, in a dying town.
The show is comparable to the likes of Superstore as well as Parks & Recreation and The Office all of which have been big successes for NBC.
The series will reportedly provide an “authentic experience” down memory lane with the production acquiring the rights to be able to use the official Blockbuster logo and store’s uniforms throughout the production.
Netflix’s History with Blockbuster Video
Netflix and Blockbuster have an illustrious history given at one point in history, Blockbuster was given a chance to buy Netflix.
The pair of companies started out as video rental companies but with a key difference being Netflix was an online business and Blockbuster was a brick and mortar business. Of course, Netflix eventually had to pivot away from DVDs (although the DVD rental business is still in operation in the US) to streaming video. It then had to pivot again into not only streaming but becoming a producer of content.
Blockbuster’s downfall started back in the mid-2000s after there were over 5,600 stores in the US alone. Fast forward to today, there’s only one single still operating in Bend, Oregon.
Blockbuster stores over 30 years:pic.twitter.com/rDfiO07525
— Jon Erlichman (@JonErlichman) April 17, 2021
Where is Netflix’s Blockbuster series in production?
Production for the new series got underway at the end of February 2022. It’s filming in Vancouver, BC, Canada specifically at Manitoba Street Studios.
According to production listings seen by What’s on Netflix, production is due to take place until May 2nd, 2022.
Melissa Fumero confirmed that the series had “almost” wrapped production on May 2nd with an Instagram story.
To prepare for the new series, it’s worth watching The Last Blockbuster which arrived on Netflix in Canada and the United States in April 2021. The doc features interviews with Adam Brody, Kevin Smith, Ione Skye, Jamie Kennedy, Brian Posehn, Samm Levine, Paul Scheer and James Arnold Taylor and is narrated by Lauren Lapkus.
Finally, if you’re a Twitter user, we’d recommend you follow a new account called “Blockbuster News & Updates” that’s tracking all things Blockbuster!
Are you excited for Blockbuster coming soon to Netflix? Let us know in the comments.