Joe Cornish’s ‘Lockwood & Co’ on Netflix innovates the world supernatural entertainment

Famous British writer/director Joe Cornish invented the world of ghost stories with the Netflix series Lockwood & CoBased on the books by Jonathan Stroud and starring Robbie Stokes, Cameron Chapman and Ali Hadji-Hashimati.

Cornish, who wrote and directed the popular film block attack, Eyes closed Lockwood & Co More than a decade of stories before this project actually took off.

“There was a kind of excitement about them and a bit of a bidding war for them,” Cornish explained. “We tried to take it, but a big studio in Hollywood took it and made it into a feature film.”

While Cornish seems to have failed to get it right for the first time Lockwood & Company He formed a production company with Edgar Wright, Neera Park and Rachel Pryor.

“Fast forward 10 years later, there are now five ‘Lockwood & Co’ books and we’re looking for something to develop into our first TV show,” explained Cornish. “Lo and behold, the books are back on the market so to speak, because the movie never got made.”

“So while I was in post-production on my film The child who becomes king, I called the writer Jonathan Stride and had a sweet talk with him, and then we got the rights. And then we had a sweet talk on Netflix, and here we are.

of the Lockwood & Co The world has aspects of our reality, but it is plagued by demonic disease. Young people can communicate with demons better than adults so these companies are formed, ghost hunting agencies are necessary, to manage the supernatural and get rid of the source of any angry spirits. There is a company that operates entirely without adult supervision, called Lockwood & Co. in London, run by Anthony Lockwood (Chapman) and his partner George Karim (Hadji-Hashimati).

While Lucy (Stokes) is training out of town, an unfortunate situation finds her running away from home. He eventually joins Lockwood and company, both Anthony and George are impressed by his ability to hear ghosts, and the three quickly find themselves embroiled in a dangerous supernatural mystery.

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Lockwood (Cameron Chapman), Lucy (Robbie Stokes) and George (Ali Hadji-Hashimati) battle a demon in Lockwood & Co. on Netflix

Lockwood (Cameron Chapman), Lucy (Robbie Stokes) and George (Ali Hadji-Hashimati) battle a demon in Lockwood & Co. on Netflix

Simple but effective concept

Often, there’s a pattern with supernatural TV shows and movies where there’s a complex mythology to learn and follow in order to get the most out of a particular narrative. with Lockwood & Coas Cornish makes clear, there are levels of access to this world.

“The main thing that attracted me was the simplicity of the concept,” Cornish said. “A lot of the big streaming series feel like a history lesson or a geography lesson, they feel like you need to study to know who the different royal houses are, or who’s an orc and who’s an elf and which It had a history.”

“It has a very simple premise, that the world is infested by elephants. The elephants can kill you by touching them. Children can sense them better than adults, so adults have to fight them. “Set up institutions that employ children, and it’s just an institution. It’s not supervised by adults. It’s the institution at the center of our story.”

That being said, the foundation of this show, Stroud’s novels, were created with such great detail that it allowed Cornish to really create this wonderful and incredibly detailed space to immerse himself in the wonderful characters.

“I’ve never seen a set of rules so carefully laid out,” Cornish said. “One of the fascinating things about the books is how carefully Jonathan has thought about the physics of how brains exist.”

“In the back of every ‘Lockwood & Co.’ . I think. It’s really extraordinary.”

Lockwood (Cameron Chapman), Lucy (Robbie Stokes) and George (Ali Hadji-Hashimati) battle a demon in Lockwood & Co. on Netflix

Lockwood (Cameron Chapman), Lucy (Robbie Stokes) and George (Ali Hadji-Hashimati) battle a demon in Lockwood & Co. on Netflix

Places the teenage High Three in a mature context

While Cornish is no stranger to young-led stories, for this one Lockwood & Cothere is something particularly compelling about placing young people in these larger contexts.

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“That’s at the center of the books, the idea that young people are put into situations that are really the domain of adults,” Cornish said. “Death is something you don’t think about when you’re a kid.”

“The issues in life that might make you want to cross over and hang out like a saint aren’t really things you should be thinking about as a young person. Running a company isn’t something you You have to think like a teenager. Living alone in your own house and running your own house is not what you think of as a teenager. But it’s part of the nature of ambition that makes the books so great, and it This kind of escapist fantasy is part of what makes it such a compelling story.

What Cornish can masterfully balance in the series are these high-stakes, action-packed plot points that are, as he describes it, “comfortable” from the books where Lucy, George and Anthony Lockwood Laughs at home and enjoys tea. And biscuits together.

Of course, to implement this idea, the series needed actors who could take the dynamics of the story. Robbie Stokes, Cameron Chapman and Ali Hadji-Hashimati are all brilliant. Stokes caught Cornish’s attention in a movie the stones And she was so perfect for Lucy that he stopped listening to her halfway through.

“Ali is a brilliant George, he doesn’t physically look like the George described in the book,” Cornish said. “He encapsulates the character so beautifully though as a personality.”

“He’s British-Iranian, so we’re changing the character’s surname. Jonathan Strode helped us with that and we’re kind of combining some of his elements, which we think makes a good character.”

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When it came to finding the right Anthony Lockwood, Cornish admitted it was the hardest part of the puzzle.

“We found Cameron at drama school, he’d never done anything before, and we were really relieved when he came in,” Cornish said. “We were really down to the wire because we knew who it was, they had to start training, they had to get physically fit, they had to start exercising, we had to measure them for clothes, so for that stuff It’s the deadline.” “

“Thank God he came in and was awesome.”

Joe Cornish on the set of Netflix with Robbie Stokes.  Lockwood & Company (Parisa Taghizadeh/Netflix)

Joe Cornish with Robbie Stokes on the set of Netflix’s Lockwood & Company (Parisa Taghizadeh/Netflix)

‘This is just a beginner’s course’

While Cornish’s writing and directing experience is extensive, he recognizes the benefits of having a reference point, in this case the Stride books, to work from.

“You start about halfway down the racetrack when you have a book, especially a book as good as this,” Cornish said. Cornish said. “It’s like starting a second or third draft, but then you run into all kinds of surprising issues, like things that might make sense in your imagination but when you actually physically create them, They don’t make as much sense.”

“You don’t have to close a book, which means you don’t really have to be completely aware of where everybody is and where everything is. You do that when you’re actually shooting something. So it’s really challenging. It was an interesting collection, but it was definitely liberating to have the material.

When it comes to the future Lockwood & CoCornish has a lot he would love to dive into for the series.

“There’s an interesting story that happens soon with another girl who comes into the agency named Holly,” Cornish said. “It creates really interesting dynamics between our three lead characters. … There’s a really big set piece in a department store in central London that I’ll be directing.”

“The books are getting better because, as Jonathan will admit, he’s discovering more about his world and he’s creating more interesting layers and elements… It’s just a starter course, a main course, a side dish and There’s a lovely pudding. And a cheese plate, maybe.”


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