Despite bringing in 83 million household views Michael Bay’s $150 million action film 6 Underground, starring Ryan Reynolds and Dave Franco, won’t be getting a sequel. Netflix’s head of original films, Scott Stuber said the movie was seen as something of a disappointment internally, which prompted the decision not to move forward with creating a franchise.
Speaking about the Ryan Reynolds film to Variety, Stuber said he didn’t feel like the film was on point creatively. And although it was a nice hit, at the end of the day Netflix didn’t feel like they hit the mark to justify coming back again. “There just wasn’t that deep love for those characters or that world,” he told the publication.
Directed by Michael Bay from a script by Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, 6 Underground was released by Netflix in December 2019. The action-comedy film featured Ryan Reynolds as the enigmatic One – the leader of a super-skilled vigilante squad comprised of individuals who had been presumed dead. The team had one goal – to take down seemingly untouchable criminals. The movie also featured the talents of Mélanie Laurent, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Adria Arjona, Corey Hawkins, and Ben Hardy.
The movie received generally polarizing reviews. Ryan Reynolds was praised for his performance and action sequences, but 6 Underground was criticized for its direction and length. Moreover, folks were unimpressed by Michael Bay’s typical over-the-top style and the film’s muddled story.
In terms of original movies, Netflix is determined to release films that tap into the cultural zeitgeist. So far, that’s been the streamer’s biggest issue. While some of Netflix’s creations have become widespread cultural phenomenons, their original movies are somewhat lacking in that department. And despite having major stars like Ryan Reynolds to lead their projects.
“We have to be more consistent at making these movies more culturally relevant and putting them in the zeitgeist,” Stuber told Variety. “We know the audience is there for these movies, but I want people to feel that impact in their conversations with friends and colleagues where they’re saying did you hear about this movie ‘Old Guard’? We’ve done it, but we haven’t done it consistently.”
Netflix has always been protective of its streaming data, only sharing viewership numbers for their most-streamed exclusives. Their carefully selected data has been heavily criticized because each view only consists of someone watching something for two minutes. This is why it’s refreshing to hear Netflix bosses admit that the Ryan Reynolds blockbuster was unsuccessful despite high viewership.
Meanwhile, Ryan Reynolds has several other Netflix projects on the way. Red Notice with Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot is set for release in November. The Deadpool actor also recently completed The Adam Project for the streaming site. While some fans may have loved it, 6 Underground was a rather ambitious swing for Netflix. But realistically, every movie (no matter how many times it’s been viewed) isn’t always guaranteed to be a hit. On the upside, fans that might have been holding out hope for a sequel finally got some closure.