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The Watcher Netflix Release Date, Cast, And Plot - What We Know So Far

Writer-producer Ryan Murphy has another show in the works for Netflix. Following his five-year contract with the streaming service — for a whopping $300 million — Murphy has released original shows such as "The Politician," "Ratched," and "Halston" (via The Hollywood Reporter). This next project, which he is working on with frequent collaborator Ian Brennan ("Glee," "The Politician"), will be a miniseries titled "The Watcher."

"The Watcher" has been in the works for Netflix for a few years now. Back in 2018, Deadline reported that Netflix had won the rights to an article from The Cut titled "The Watcher," which details the true story of a stalker who sent letters to a family following their purchasing of a New Jersey home. The bidding battle involved six studios, with Netflix ultimately gaining the coveted rights to the intriguing story.

According to Deadline's initial reports, director team Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman ("Nerve," "Paranormal Activity 3") will be helming the project. The two will also executive produce alongside Murphy, Brennan, and Eric Newman ("Narcos").

Here's everything we know about the upcoming project so far.

When will The Watcher be released?

As of now, Netflix has not yet announced the release date for "The Watcher," nor has anyone involved commented on when viewers might be able to expect the miniseries to come out. Based on the details that have been released — besides the creative team, just two actors have been confirmed — the production seems to still be in the early development stages.

We can, however, speculate on when the series might be released onto the streaming service by looking at another of Murphy's series for Netflix. For "Ratched," for example, the initial announcement came in September 2017, with Sarah Paulson's attachment an early casting, via Deadline. More details of casting choices for "Ratched" were announced over a year later in January of 2019. The series then premiered on September 18, 2020, almost exactly three years after the initial announcement.

With all this in mind and considering that cast members for "The Watcher" have recently been announced, we can likely expect a release date, at minimum, a year from now. All in all, a 2022 release date seems almost guaranteed, as this year would be too soon considering it's still in early production.

Who will be in The Watcher?

The story of "The Watcher" will revolve around a married couple, along with their children, as mysterious events unfold following the purchase of their dream home. The central couple has just been cast for the project: Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale will portray the real-life couple Maria and Derek Broaddus. The Broaddus family's experiences were previously made into a movie for Lifetime, but several of the details were changed. In this 2016 movie, Maria and Derek were renamed Emma and Noah and were portrayed by Erin Cahill and Edi Gathegi. It's unclear if Murphy's upcoming project will change the Broadduses' names.

Watts has recently appeared in films such as 2019's "Luce" and 2020's "Penguin Bloom." Cannavale's recent credits include 2020's "Superintelligence" and 2021's "Thunder Force."

We can expect more cast members to be announced in the coming months. Besides the Broaddus couple, other key players include the detectives who worked on the investigation and other families in the new neighborhood, namely the Langfords, who quickly become suspects.

What will The Watcher be about?

"The Watcher" will chronicle the events of the investigative long-form article of the same name by Reeves Wiedeman for The Cut, which was published in November of 2018. In 2014, Maria and Derek Broaddus purchased a home in Westfield, New Jersey, for $1.3 million and began renovating before their move-in date. During this renovation period — before moving in — they received an ominous letter from someone claiming to have been "watching" the house for decades and eager for "young blood" to enter the house. This letter was signed by "The Watcher."

The letters continued and became more and more strange and creepy, with The Watcher eventually calling the family members by name and writing other specific details that indicate that The Watcher was in close proximity to the house without the Broaddus couple realizing. Even after a thorough police investigation — and the Broadduses doing their own digging — the identity of "The Watcher" remains a mystery to this day.

We can expect the series to delve deep into the mystery, including all the intricate details of the article from The Cut, when it arrives on Netflix.