Netflix expands westerns with ‘Painkiller’ trio Pete Berg, Eric Newman & Taylor Kitsch


Netflix is expanding its western output with a new limited series from Painkiller trio, Pete Berg, Eric Newman and Taylor Kitsch.

American Primeval is a six-parter that will explore the birth of the Wild West and “tells a story of the sacrifice all must pay when they choose to enter a lawless and untamed wilderness.”

Berg will direct all episodes and executive produce as the first project under his first-look deal with Netflix via his Film 44 banner, with Newman executive producer under his overall deal with the streamer. Mark L. Smith will write all episodes and serve as executive producer.

Taylor Kitsch

Newman, Berg and Kitsch (Waco) previously worked together on limited series Painkiller, which will premiere on Netflix in 2023.

Berg said: “We are very appreciative that Netflix is trusting us to take a big swing with American Primeval. I’m looking forward to taking viewers into the most dynamic, intense, and heart pounding survival tale humanly possible. We are going into the belly of the beast.”

Peter Friedlander, VP of scripted series for US and Canada at Netflix, described American Primeval as “a portrait of the American West unlike any other – raw, thrilling, action-driven and brought to life by a tapestry of emotionally compelling characters led by the talented Taylor Kitsch.”

Westerns have become increasingly popular commissions over recent years, with the BBC and Amazon Prime Video recently launching Emily Blunt’s The English and Paramount+ moving into the genre with Yellowstone prequel, 1883.

Netflix has previously experimented with the genre through Godless, the 2017 drama from Steven Soderbergh and Scott Frank.

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