If you were one of the many convinced to buy a high-definition television after viewing the 2007 nature series "Planet Earth," Netflix is hoping you'll start saving now for the 4K experience they have planned for 2019.
The streaming giant announced today a collaboration with Silverback Films and the conservation organization WWF on an ambitious sequel to "Planet Earth" titled "Our Planet." The eight-part series will take an unprecedented four years to create, sending viewers on a round-the-world journey to witness wilderness and species never before captured on film. It will be helmed by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey, the original creators of "Planet Earth," as well as other celebrated nature documentaries like "Earth," "Bears," "African Cats," Frozen Earth" and "Blue Planet."
While Netflix will handle distribution, WWF will open doors, giving filmmakers "unparalleled access" to its projects in protected areas around the world.
"'Our Planet' is going to raise the bar for natural history landmarks," Alastair Fothergill, executive producer for Silverback Films, said in a statement. "We will reveal the most amazing sights on Earth and show them in ways they have never been seen before. Partnering with Netflix and WWF gives us the ability to reach and enthuse global audiences with the wonder and importance of the natural world."
Since announcing last summer that it was expanding its selection of cause-based documentaries, Netflix has moved quickly to deliver results. In addition to a collaboration last year with Leonardo DiCaprio on the gorilla conservation film "Virunga" (which earned an Oscar nomination), the company in March also announced an expanded relationship with the actor for a number of future non-fiction films.
"I hope to give documentary filmmakers doing urgent and important work the chance to have their films seen immediately by audiences all around the world," DiCaprio said at the time.
Clearly, the people behind "Planet Earth" were eager for a similar opportunity — a move that must sting a bit for the Discovery Channel, BBC and National Geographic Channel, traditional networks that have all previously benefited from such giant nature docs.
"Netflix is proud to be the global home for perhaps Silverback’s most ambitious project to date," said Lisa Nishimura, vice president of Netflix Original Documentaries in a statement. "The 'Planet' projects have enjoyed great success on Netflix and have helped launch new technologies for viewing at home. We think watching 'Our Planet', fully on demand in 4K will be an unforgettable experience for our members."
In other words, you have four years to save for a new 4K television. "Our Planet" will debut sometime in 2019. For a bit of nostalgia, check out the original "Planet Earth" trailer below.