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5 exciting premieres coming to Netflix, Disney+ and more in December

5 exciting premieres coming to Netflix, Disney+ and more in December

Noah Centineo as Owen Hendricks in “The Recruit”. Photo: Netflix

December tends to be all about holiday cheer and classic movies. But if you’re not in the mood for the traditional viewing of “A Christmas Story,” the various streaming services have some great movies and series set to release before the end of 2022.

From ghost stories to musicals, and even a long-awaited franchise sequel, here are five upcoming premieres you won’t want to miss.

“Darby and the Dead”

Ghost stories are a Christmas tradition, so “Darby and the Dead” should fit perfectly into a holiday viewing schedule. Riele Downs (“Henry Danger”) stars as Darby Harper, a high school student who can see the dead and lives to loathe cheerleader Capri (Auli’i Cravalho of “Moana”). But after Capri dies in a mysterious accident, she vows to haunt Darby until her former enemy helps her throw the Sweet 17 birthday party Capri had planned. Darby wants nothing to do with it at first, but reluctantly agrees when Capri offers her postmortem popularity coaching.

It’s a “Mean Girls” meets “Beetlejuice” story that features two of the most promising young actresses of this generation and offers some family-friendly creepiness for December.

See that: Comedy. Available to stream on Hulu starting Friday, June 2. December.


The famous works of the American sci-fi author Octavia E. Butler are undergoing a renaissance. At least three of her novels are in development for the screen, including “Kindred.” The story centers on Dana James (Mallori Johnson), a successful writer who time-travels to the Antebellum South. There she meets her ancestors, a free woman of color and the slave owner who forces himself on her. Dana’s travels are uncontrollable and she finds herself fighting to survive in the past as she moves back and forth through time. Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, who was a consulting producer on the race-focused HBO series “Watchmen,” serves as showrunner and wrote the adaptation.

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“Kindred” is considered one of Butler’s best works due to its crossover appeal as both genre fiction and black literature. It’s great to see her finally getting more popular recognition.

See that: Science fiction series. Available to stream on Hulu starting December 13th.

“National Treasure: Edge of History”

It’s been 15 years since moviegoers last saw Nicolas Cage’s Ben Gates deciphering riddles in American historical documents to uncover a sinister plot. Despite the success of “National Treasure: Book of Secrets”, a third film was never made. Instead, Disney and showrunners Cormac and Marianne Wibberley (who wrote “Book of Secrets”) are taking the franchise into series form with a new lead treasure hunter played by Lisette Alexis.

Although the character does not appear to be related to Cage’s Gates, the series is well within the franchise canon thanks to appearances by Justin Bartha and Harvey Keitel, and Cage is expected to return if the show gets a second season. Meanwhile, Alexis’ Jess Valenzuela will go in search of three mysterious boxes that contain the secrets of her family and a chest of gold.

See that: Action series. The first two episodes premiere on December 14 on Disney+. Subsequent episodes released Wednesdays through February 8.

‘The Recruit’

Noah Centineo (“Black Adam”) stars in this hot new series as Owen Hendricks, a young lawyer recently recruited into the CIA. An ambitious man, he throws himself into his work when he is paired with an asset (Laura Haddock) who tries to blackmail the agency in exchange for her freedom. Hendricks is a bumbling rookie who can barely keep up with all the international powers involved in his partner’s past.

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The show comes from Alexi Hawley, who piloted the similarly themed “The Rookie” to great success on ABC. The fun comes from seeing someone very out of their depth, unhappy but miraculously surviving in the spy game.

See that: Action series. Available to stream on Netflix from December 16.

“Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical”

“Matilda” is one of the most beloved children’s stories, largely thanks to the incredible 1996 film version directed by Danny DeVito and starring Mara Wilson. Fan dedication led to a stage musical that debuted in 2010, and now a film adaptation is coming to Netflix on Christmas Day. Alisha Weir stars as the title character, a young girl with a huge imagination who is raised by cruel parents who want to squash her curiosity. Their abuse causes her to develop telekinetic powers, which she uses to right the many wrongs in her town and school.

The original score is fun and witty, tackling dark themes such as child abuse and familial greed with light-hearted wit and surprisingly sharp lyrics. Matilda’s powers are usually somewhat downplayed due to the limitations of the stage, so seeing the musical with the full force of movie special effects should give it an extra dimension of wonder.

See that: Musical comedy. Available to stream on Netflix starting December 25.

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