Artificial Intelligence and organic intention—they will be at the forefront of our collective struggle for the next…century of our lives or more? The tension will live in every aspect of life, guaranteed. Take, for instance, Netflix’s “Bird Box,” the post-apocalyptic thriller released in 2018 starring Sandra Bullock. For the streamer’s algorithm (essentially A.I.), “Bird Box” was a huge hit, one of the streamer’s most successful and popular original films. The flipside reality is that “Bird Box” is a little bit like Creed or Nickelback: they have sold millions of records, but no one you know has one, nor does anyone ever admit to buying them. “Bird Box” was a Netflix hit, but even the most casual moviegoer would probably not list it amongst even the 20 best films of 2018 or anything resembling a classic.
It doesn’t matter. Netflix’s algo has spoken, and it says “Bird Box” is franchisable. So taking a page out of “A Quiet Plac” before ‘AQP’ has even had a chance to fulfill its master (spin-off) plan—the streamer has decided to look at the apocalyptic pandemic events portrayed in “Bird Box” from a different perspective and global angle. Hence, “Bird Box: Barcelona” is a movie that looks at the same event from the perspective of those living in Spain (surely Netflix’s system told them Spain was the best territory to start in).
Written and directed by Álex Pastor and David Pastor (directors of 2020’s “The Occupant” and writers of 2015’s “Self/Less” starring Ryan Reynolds), “Bird Box: Barcelona” is built on the same premise. That story is, essentially: after an entity of mysterious origin annihilates the world’s population, causing those who observe it to take their lives, Sebastián and his daughter begin their own great adventure of survival in Barcelona.
Starring Spanish stars Mario Casas, Georgina Campbell, Alejandra Howard, Naila Schuberth, Diego Calva, Patrick Criado, Lola Dueñas, Gonzalo De Castro, Michelle Jenner, and Leonardo Sbaraglia, ‘Barcelona’ is produced by Dylan Clark, Chris Morgan, Núria Valls, Adrián Guerra, Josh Malerman and Ryan Lewis.
Here’s the official synopsis:
From the producers of the global phenomenon, Bird Box comes BIRD BOX BARCELONA, an expansion of the film that riveted audiences in 2018. After a mysterious force decimates the world’s population, Sebastian must navigate his own survival journey through the desolate streets of Barcelona. As he forms uneasy alliances with other survivors and they try to escape the city, an unexpected and even more sinister threat grows.
“Bird Box: Barcelona” debuts on Netflix on July 14, 2023. Does Netflix’s A.I. know something we don’t, or will the organic intention—a real lack of word of mouth or buzz—prevail? Time will tell. Watch the new trailer below.