Sunderland's Netflix adventure could go into a third series

Sunderland’s Netflix adventure could go into a THIRD series after unexpected drama of suspending English football season due to coronavirus crisis

  • Producers Fulwell 73 had planned to only commission two series’ for Netflix
  • However, the filmmakers say the suspension of the season may open the door
  • Leo Pearlman and Ben Turner hope the show will be uplifting for those isolating
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

The makers of Sunderland ‘Til I Die have said they would consider filming a third series of the hit show to document football’s return after the coronavirus crisis. 

Producers Fulwell 73 had planned for series two of the Netflix programme – which launches on Wednesday week – to be the last. 

But filmmakers Leo Pearlman and Ben Turner have told Sportsmail that the suspension of this season may open the door for them to revisit their Sunderland story.

The second season of Sunderland ‘Til I die will be released on Netflix on April 1

Executive producer Pearlman said: ‘Season one and season two felt different. So we asked ourselves the question: ‘What would feel different about season three? What would be the big change?’

‘The truth was when we looked at it, it was kind of hard to see how we would creatively make something that was original, unique and brave again.

‘But I actually think the ending of this season, and if it gets cancelled altogether, which looks ever more likely, could mean that there is a reason to do something more. But let’s see how people react to this series and then we will revisit.’

The first series of Sunderland ‘Til I Die followed the Black Cats’ relegation from the Championship in 2017-18, while the new show documents their failed attempt to get out of League One last season under new owners Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven.

The arrival of new owner Stewart Donald did not result in promotion for Sunderland last year

Co-producer Turner added: ‘It felt like it was a bit of an ending but there is a chance we could come back.’

The Fulwell 73 duo – who are Sunderland fans – also hope the show will be uplifting for viewers who are being forced to stay at home because of coronavirus-enforced restrictions.

Pearlman said: ‘The way things have worked out, the timing is good. I guess everyone is looking for new content and in particular new sporting content.

‘But I also think there is a pretty amazing message that comes out of this show which everyone can do with right now, and that is the sense of community and togetherness that both series one and series two show in pretty adverse conditions.’

The second series includes The Black Cats losing to Portsmouth in the EFL Trophy final

Pearlman hopes the second series proves to be as popular as the first, which had such a global reach it even helped attract new American investors to Sunderland last year.

He said: ‘That sort of thing is a positive by-product but it could never be the intention or the aim. We are Sunderland fans, but first and foremost, are filmmakers and you have to treat it with an honesty and a truthfulness.

‘My favourite story is that in South Korea, off the back of the success of the series, there is now a Sunderland supporters’ club that gets together once a month in a pub somewhere. They can’t get the games so they sit and watch the text alerts come up on their phones. There are eight of them.’

Sunderland have no editorial control over the new Netflix behind the scenes series 

Unlike the recent Amazon Prime documentary about Leeds which was produced by owner Andrea Radrizzani’s company Eleven Studios, Sunderland have no editorial control of the Netflix series.

Pearlman added: ‘I can’t really understand the arrogance and ego of believing that something that is self-funded and is effectively a multi-part promotional piece is going to have any interest to anyone, even your own fans.

‘It’s all well and good creating that content but for what purpose? It doesn’t make any sense to me.’

Sunderland ‘Til I Die S2 launches on Netflix on Wednesday April 1

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