SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Cameras rolled for “Florida Man” in Wilmington in 2021 for roughly five months. Almost two years after production began, it finally has a release date.
Netflix dropped its trailer Friday and announced it will officially stream “Florida Man” April 13. The seven-episode series stars Édgar Ramirez (“Yes Day”), Anthony LaPaglia (“Without a Trace”) and Abbey Lee (“Lovecraft Country”). It’s being produced by Donald Todd, known for ABC’s “Samantha Who?”, NBC’s “This Is Us” and ABC’s “Ugly Betty.”
READ MORE: Netflix to shoot ‘Florida Man’ series, ‘Echoes’ thriller in Wilmington
ALSO: Unusual setup at The Pointe caught your eye? It’s a film set for Netflix
The show, a mixture of comedy, thrills and drama, follows gambling ex-cop Mike Valentine (Ramirez), who’s on the hunt for a Philadelphia mobster’s runaway girlfriend, Delly West (Lee). Valentine reluctantly returns to his home state of Florida on what’s supposed to be a “quick gig.” Instead, things spiral out of control as family secrets are unveiled and breaking laws happen within inconceivable schemes.
In the same vein of the Florida man internet meme that went viral in 2013, the fast-paced editing of the trailer highlights people enduring insane, absurd antics: a man sinks his car in water, while another catches a pistol while fishing. The lead lady also gets in on the fun, attempting to torch a raccoon by lighting the spray out of an aerosol can.
Creator Todd told Netflix in an interview the inspiration for the show centered around the premise: “[People] laugh at the mug shots and the headlines, but what’s the story behind the meme?”
Todd was born in the Sunshine State and said throughout his youth he constantly tried to pinpoint exactly what it was that made Florida — well, Florida. He surmised its landscape makeup may have some bearing.
“Florida is a thin layer of porous crust on top of a hundred feet of water and it’s maybe a few feet above sea level,” he told Netflix. “It might all sink. So when you feel that everything is temporary, you take what you can when you can get it. A ‘Florida man’ is someone who’s proudly independent and doesn’t live by your code, which means he doesn’t live by any code.”
The limited series shot across Wilmington and Carolina Beach, including at local businesses such as Unifirst, All Ways Graphics, Copper Penny, Hell’s Kitchen and Quanto Basta. It also constructed a set at The Pointe, featuring façades of an AutoZone and a barn, and built a water tank at local film studio Dark Horse.
The trailer features a few snapshots of Starway Flea Market, the Pointe set, Wilmington International Airport, and Carolina Beach.
Jason Bateman and Michael Costigan of Aggregate Films served as the show’s executive producers. Since 2018, Aggregate — best known for the streamer’s original “Ozark” — has had a first-look deal with Netflix, giving the streamer first dibs on its creations.
Other cast members of “Florida Man” include Otmara Marrero, Lex Scott Davis, Emory Cohen, Clark Gregg, Isaiah Johnson, Paul Schneider, and Lauren Buglioli.
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