Two Banijay companies, the Dutch label Scenery and Manchester-based prodco Workerbee, are bringing a new sports docuseries to Netflix, featuring narration by star actor Idris Elba.
Adapted from Hannelore Vandenbussche’s book Why We Play, the six-part series Human Playground studies the origins and evolution of the most unique sports around the world, including robot camel races in the United Arab Emirates, big wave surfing in Nazaré Portugal, and eagle hunting in Kyrgyzstan.
Elba also serves as an executive producer on the project, which was directed by Tomas Kaan. “I knew we had something to grab when we decided to use play as a lens to examine ourselves — the playing human being,” Kaan said in a news release. “However, I could not have imagined in advance how many sides this story has to it. All those smells and colors, emotions, and cultures. Blood and sweat splashing against the lens.”
Rick Murray, Workerbee managing director and an executive producer on Human Playground, added: “When Scenery introduced us to this project it felt like a perfect fit for Idris as narrator, and for Netflix. We are delighted to have helped get the project off the ground; the team in Amsterdam are world-class, and we hope to work with them again in the not-too-distant future”
Human Playground is the first Dutch-produced docuseries to launch globally on Netflix. An exclusive coffee table photo book, as well as various art prints and art exhibitions, are also planned to coincide with the series launch. Because Scenery partners with Content Connected in China, the series will also launch on the Chinese streamer Youku later this year. 
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