Netflix’s ‘Archive 81’ Horror Series: What We Know So Far

archive 81

Archive 81 is an upcoming horror series in development at Netflix that loosely inspired by the podcast of the same name. Rebecca Sonnenshine (The Boys, The Vampire Diaries) will serve as showrunner, while James Wan (Aquaman, The Conjuring) will be an executive producer on the project along with his production company Atomic Monster Productions.

Netflix’s Stranger Things director Rebecca Thomas is tapped to direct four episodes including the pilot and will serve as executive producer as well. She has also signed to direct the upcoming live-action adaptation of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Paul Harris Boardman (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) developed the original script and will executive produce. The creators of the original podcast Marc Sollinger and Daniel Powell will also be producers the new series. Showrunner Rebecca Sonnenshine offered her comment on Archive 81:

“With Archive 81, we’re hoping to give the supernatural horror genre a new twist — while keeping a dark, deeply emotional romance as its core. I’m excited to take Netflix viewers on a terrifying and visually thrilling adventure.”

archive 81 producers

From left: showrunner Rebecca Sonnenshine, executive producer James Wan and director Rebecca Thomas

What is the plot of Archive 81?

As mentioned above, the series is said to be very loosely inspired by the horror podcast series of the same name. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the plot of Archive 81 centers on Dan Turner, an archivist who takes a mysterious job restoring a collection of damaged videotapes from 1994 and finds himself reconstructing the work of documentary filmmaker Melody Pendras and her investigation into a dangerous cult. As Dan is drawn into Melody’s story, he becomes convinced he can save her from the terrifying end she met 25 years ago.

Who is cast in Archive 81?


Mamoudou Athie, Dina Shibabi, Martin Donovan, Matt McGorry, Julia Chan, Evan Jonigkeit and Ariana Neal

The two series leads for Netflix’s Archive 81 are Mamadou Athie (The Get Down, Uncorked) and Dina Shibabi (Altered Carbon). Athie will play Dan Turner, the aforementioned archivist. Shibabi will portray Melody Pendras. Supporting characters for the series have also been announced: Martin Donovan (Big Little Lies), Matt McGorry (How To Get Away With Murder), Julia Chan (Katy Keene), Evan Jonigkeit (X-Men: Days of Future Past), and Ariana Neal (Hidden Figures) will portray Virgil, Mark, Anabelle, Samuel and Jess.

How many episodes will Archive 81 have?

Netflix’s Archive 81 will have 8 one-hour episodes. The original podcast by which the series is inspired by has three seasons so far, so if the adaptation is successful, we should expect a renewal for more seasons and episodes.

What’s the production status on Archive 81?

Current production status: Filming (Last updated: 02/20/2021)

Filming for Netflix’s Archive 81 started in November 2020 in Pittsburgh, US. Locations included the sound stage at Marshall Township, North Side Pittsburgh and the city’s Downtown area as well as Alleghenny County. As of now filming is planned to wrap in March 2021.

Here are a few photos from the Archive 81 shoot in Pittsburgh over the past few months:

When will Archive 81 be released on Netflix?

No release date has been announced for Archive 81, but it would be safe to assume that the eight episodes will be dropped on Netflix sometime in 2021 or possibly even 2022.

Are you looking forward to Archive 81 on Netflix? Let us know in the comments.

Tigran Asatryan

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Tigran is our resident previews writer. He works on collecting everything known about upcoming Netflix Original projects.