Bestselling author Harlan Coben signed a billion-dollar deal with Netflix in 2018 to bring his books to the small screen around the world, and it has worked out handsomely for both sides. Five shows have already premiered, with the latest being Stay Close, starring The Good Wife actor Cush Jumbo. Although Stay Close was just released, the series is making waves on Netflix's charts. Two more shows are in the works, and the deal covered 14 adaptations in total.
Coben, 60, was born in Newark, New Jersey, and most of his novels are set in the U.S. His work is famous for its multiple twists and turns, usually involving cold cases and murders. In addition to his many stand-alone novels, he also wrote the Myron Bolitar series, which stars a sports agent who often investigates murders involving his clients.
His work appeals to audiences around the world, a fact confirmed by Netflix's decision to move his stories to Europe. The Stranger and Stay Close adaptations were both set in the U.K., while The Woods was moved to Poland. The Innocent and Gone for Good moved to Spain and France, respectively. Coben also created Safe (2018) for Netflix, starring Michael C. Hall. Scroll on for a look at the six Coben shows already produced and what the future of the series could look like.
The Stranger (2015) was the first Coben novel to get the Netflix treatment. The U.K. production starred Richard Armitage as Adam Price and Siobhan Finneran as Det. Sgt. Johanna Griffin. The show begins with a mysterious woman telling Adam a devastating secret that ruins his perfect life. His wife Corinne (Dervla Kirwan) goes missing, and her disappearance is central to the plot. The Stranger debuted on Jan. 30, 2020.prevnext
The Woods (W głębi lasu)
Coben's 2007 novel The Woods was moved to Poland for the Netflix adaptation, which was released in June 2020. The series is set in two different time periods. In 2019, Warsaw prosecutor Paweł Kopiński (Grzegorz Damięcki) identifies a murder victim possibly connected to a 1994 summer camp where Kopiński was a chaperone. At the camp, two people were murdered and two others, including Kopiński's sister, went missing.prevnext
The Innocent (El Inocente)
El Inocente brought Coben's 2005 novel The Innocent from New Jersey to Spain. In the Netflix adaptation, Mario Casas stars as Mateo, who accidentally killed a man nine years ago. Mateo hoped to start a new life with his wife Olivia (Aura Garrido), but like in all of Coben's works, his perfect life is thrown into disarray. El Inocente was released on Netflix in April 2021.prevnext
Gone for Good (Disparu à jamais)
When Coben wrote Gone for Good (2002), he set the story in an affluent New Jersey neighborhood. When Netflix picked the book to adapt, it was taken to France. Disparu à jamais stars Finnegan Oldfield, Nicholas Duvauchelle, and Guillaume Goix and was released in August 2021. Oldfield plays Guillaume Lucchesi, who gets involved in a mystery 10 years after his first love and his brother died. His new girlfriend suddenly disappeared during his mother's funeral.prevnext
The latest Coben project for Netflix is Stay Close, starring Cush Jumbo, James Nesbitt, and Armitage. It is based on Coben's 2012 novel and moves the setting to Blackpool, England. Jumbo plays Megan Pierce, a suburban mother whose life is upended when a police detective begins investigating a 17-year-old cold case. The series runs eight episodes.prevnext
Safe was Coben's first project with Netflix, but it is not based on any of his novels. Still, it has many of his trademarks. Michael C. Hall (Dexter) stars as a British surgeon and widower with two teenage daughters. One of his daughters goes missing, and he finds himself in a web of secrets. The show was released on Netflix in May 2018.prevnext
Coben's future at Netflix0comments
Coben has two more ideas for projects at Netflix, and the streamer has until 2023 to finish adapting 14 of his novels in total. Considering the success of what he's already done though, Coben told Deadline he would be interested in extending the deal. The author "hasn't thought about what's next" but "hopes we can continue what we've been doing," he said.
Coben also enjoys the idea that millions of people around the world can see his work at once. "They've been great collaborators and give me freedom to work with others if I want to," he told Deadline. "On December 31, I love the idea that someone in L.A. will push a button and 200M people in 190 countries will be able to watch my show."prev