Netflix Allagedly Halts Production of New Taiwanese Drama Due to Poor Performance of “Nowhere Man”Grace
Touted as Taiwan’s version of Netflix’s House of Cards, the political thriller Island Nation <國際橋牌社> spent four years in the pre-production stage before cameras finally started to roll in March 2019. Starring Yong Lea (楊烈), Kurt Chou (周孝安), Sophia Li (李杏), and Yuu Chen (陳妤), Island Nation centers on the characters serving the President of Taiwan portrayed by Yong Lea. The drama is deemed as Taiwan’s first political drama.
According to reports, Island Nation was set to broadcast on Netflix in late November, as part of Netflix’s recent foray into the Taiwanese entertainment market. On Halloween Day 2019, Netflix premiered its first original Taiwanese series Nowhere Man <罪夢者> starring Joseph Chang (張孝全) and Alyssa Chia (賈靜雯). It is also set to premiere two other Taiwan-made series: Triad Princess <極道千金> which airs December 2019, and The Ghost Bride <彼岸之嫁> which will premiere January 2020.
But with Nowhere Man’s poor ratings, Netflix may be reconsidering their Taiwan project.
There are reports alleging that Netflix has halted the production of Island Nation due to the unsatisfying results of Nowhere Man. It has allegedly ordered a halt on all upcoming Taiwanese drama projects too.
But according to Island Nation’s production team, Netflix was never in the picture. Netflix had never financed the film, so money was not the reason why negotiations fell through.
In a statement released on Facebook, the Island Nation production team said the nature of the series—a political thriller that tells the story of the election of a new Taiwan president—is a sensitive political topic. Many broadcasters, including Netflix, are hesitant to purchase distribution rights.
With no broadcaster ready to distribute the show, Island Nation will not be premiering as scheduled for November 2019. Nonetheless, the production team stressed that it will not give up, stating, “Ever since production started we knew this drama would not be an easy project. It challenges the taboo of discussing politics in Taiwan, and will also open a new IP project for Taiwan, to allow more good stories from Taiwan to be shown to the world.”
Source: Yahoo! HK