During these current circumstances, and with everyone having to stay indoors in the name of public safety, audiences everywhere have had to turn to streaming services such as Netflix in order to get their movie fix. This, combined with more high-profile releases being postponed and delayed, smaller movies are getting their chance to shine. One such movie is Netflix's Code 8, a much lesser-known project that has now achieved the number one spot on Netflix's top 10 feature in the United States. One of the stars of Code 8, Robbie Amell, who appears alongside his cousin Stephen Amell (he of Arrow fame on The CW's Arrowverse) has quite rightly celebrated the achievement on social media.
"This doesn't feel real just yet. Short film with friends and family - 35,000 backers on Indiegogo - Movie with friends and family -#1 movie on Netflix Code 8."
As we saw in the Code 8 trailer released way back in October of last year, the movie is set in a world where 4% of the population is born with varying supernatural abilities, but instead of being billionaires or superheroes, they face discrimination and live in poverty, often resorting to crime. Connor Reed, a power-enabled young man, is struggling to pay for his ailing mother's health treatment. Fighting to earn enough money as a day laborer, Connor is lured into a lucrative criminal world by Garrett who works for Lincoln City's reigning drug lord, Marcus Sutcliffe. Garrett helps Connor sharpen his powers in order to execute a series of crimes on behalf of Sutcliffe, while a militarized police unit, led by Agent Park and Agent Davis, hunts them down.
The movie is directed by newcomer Jeff Chan and stars Robbie Amell, Stephen Amell, Sung Kang, Alex Mallari Jr., and Aaron Abrams.
Code 8's road to fame began with an Indigogo campaign and a short movie that built the foundation for it all to take off. Back in the summer of 2015, cousins Robbie & Stephen Amell teamed up with Jeff Chan to produce a 10-minute short that would end up being the basis for Code 8. Also starring Fast and Furious alumni Sung Kang, the short film imagined a world where superpowers were naturally occurring and had now become the subject of compulsory registration. Though not a particularly original idea, the short quickly went viral on social media, and thus a feature-length went from being a dream to being an achievable reality.
The next stage saw Robbie Amell take to Indiegogo in order to secure funds for the movie, and though he posted a campaign that only asked for $200,000, by the time it was all was said and done, $2.5 million had been raised by over 30,000 backers, passionate to see the movie come to life. Code 8 was then shot in 2017, in Toronto, Ontario and went on to be shown at screenings exclusively for campaign backers as well as several festivals throughout 2019.
Following Code 8's debut on December 13, 2019, in a limited theatrical and VOD release, with the movie grossing roughly $150,298, Netflix released the movie on April 11 this year to great success, with the movie not only achieving a solid critical response but, of course, reaching number one on Netflix's top 10 feature. It is currently still in the top 10, and is now available on Netflix, with the original short film available on Youtube. This comes to us from Robbie Amell's Twitter account.