Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Netflix will make its Broadway debut by producing a play about Putin from the creator of The Crown

Published Feb 27th, 2024 6:48PM EST
Russian president Vladimir Putin
Image: Getty Images

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Two weeks from now, Netflix will release the nine-part docuseries Turning Point: The Bomb and the Cold War, in which Vladimir Putin and his brutal and bloody invasion of Ukraine will feature prominently. In terms of telling the story of Russia’s despotic strongman, the streaming giant will also go even further soon thanks to Patriots — a new Broadway play from The Crown creator Peter Morgan that’s set after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The play’s central figure is Boris Berezovsky, a billionaire Russian oligarch who helped orchestrate Putin’s rise to power and who was assassinated after becoming a staunch Putin critic. Though Berezovsky had been living in exile in London at the time of his death, it’s widely believed that his hanging was orchestrated by the Kremlin or its allies and made to look like a suicide.

Netflix producing the play stateside follows its initial run in London and the staging of Netflix’s first-ever experiment with live theatre late last year. That first play was Stranger Things: The First Shadow, a spinoff of the blockbuster Netflix sci-fi series (season five of which, by the way, is expected in 2025).

Meanwhile, Tony nominee Michael Stuhlbarg is returning to Broadway after two decades away to star in Patriots as Berezovsky, and the play will run for 12 weeks at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre (with opening night set for April 22).

Suffice it to say, the play’s audiences will be presented with a story of real-world drama, corruption, murder, and geopolitical intrigue, the ramifications of which continue to roil multiple nation-states today. As a political figure and despot, Putin is more or less a murderous brute who’s connived, laundered, and killed in order to make himself president for life. The arch-villain, essentially, in the story of modern Russia.

For more reading on the early days of Putin’s regime, I highly recommend the book Once Upon a Time in Russia by Ben Mezrich, a history of Putin’s mafia-like takeover of the Russian state that combines narrative nonfiction with the page-turning feel of a novel. It’s like The Godfather, but real, and on a much larger and much, much deadlier scale.

Check out a trailer for the London version of Patriots below:

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.