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Netflix in October 2020: 7 TV and movie highlights to add to your Watch List

(Image credit: Netflix)

Wondering what to watch on Netflix in October 2020? This will be a big month for new movies on Netflix, as well as TV shows – that's because we're entering what would usually be Oscar season in the movie calendar. Big prestige movies from acclaimed directors and writers are dropping on the service this month. 

Expect this to keep happening in subsequent months, too, as David Fincher's Mank and George Clooney's sci-fi movie The Midnight Sky arrive before the end of 2020.

Below, we've picked out seven highlights of what's coming up on Netflix in October 2020, including a mix of TV shows, movies and factual entertainment. Our suggestions below are all Netflix Originals, so you'll be able to enjoy these globally, wherever you get the streaming service. 

Trial of the Chicago 7

Release date: October 16

A new Aaron Sorkin movie is dropping onto Netflix in the next few weeks. The Social Network screenwriter and Molly's Game director is tackling the 1969 trial of what was known as the Chicago Seven – a group of individuals who were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot after protesting the Democratic National Convention in 1968, in the midst of political upheaval in the US generally. 

Really, this courtroom drama looks like an excuse to demonstrate the acting talents of its cavalcade of big-name stars: Sacha Baron Cohen, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Frank Langella, Eddie Redmayne, Jeremy Strong, Michael Keaton and Mark Rylance, among others. Critics love this film so far: it's got 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, and is having a brief run in theaters before dropping on Netflix. 

The Haunting of Bly Manor

Release date: October 9

Two years after The Haunting of Hill House, creator Mike Flanagan brings the horror anthology series back to Netflix with an all-new tale set in England in the 1980s, about an orphaned nice and nephew and their new American nanny (Victoria Pedretti) on a spooky estate. Bly Manor holds ghostly secrets, and will soon trouble its residents with bad dreams, apparitions and general scary goings-on. The first season was one of the best Netflix originals to date – we've got high hopes for The Haunting of Bly Manor

Unsolved Mysteries season 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

Release date: October 19

If you watched the first part of Netflix's Unsolved Mysteries revival show, you'll have seen episodes that stretch from the realms of 'huh, interesting!' to the impossible (and occasionally, the laughable). Now, the documentary returns for another season of episodes, where you're presented with the evidence – though that word can be generous – to help you make up your own mind about a series of open-ended mysteries. It's compelling binge-watching fodder, even if it's not as intellectually nourishing as some of Netflix's other documentary series. 

Rebecca

Release date: October 21

Director Ben Wheatley (High-Rise, Free Fire) adapts the Daphne du Maurier book for Netflix, which was previously brought to the silver screen by Alfred Hitchcock all the way back in 1940. It's about a widower (Armie Hammer), who, following a whirlwind romance, marries another woman (Lily James). After she's brought to his estate of Manderley, though, she begins to realize she's living her life in the shadow of his deceased wife – the titular Rebecca. Kristin Scott-Thomas stars as intimidating housekeeper Mrs Danvers. 

The Hitchcock original certainly had its own themes – it'll be interesting to see if this version diverges or follows a similar path. Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, Kingsman) is one of the scriptwriters. It'll be worth checking out for sure. 

The Queen's Gambit

Release date: October 23

The Queen's Gambit is a miniseries about troubled chess champion Beth (played by Anya Taylor-Joy), who, after being abandoned to an orphanage in the '50s, becomes addicted to the tranquilizers used by her carers to sedate her. Despite her personal problems, she decides to use her skills to take on the male-centric chess scene. If the thought of watching someone play chess sounds dull as heck (even with the colorful addition of narcotics), we'd encourage you to check out the promising-looking trailer above before making up your mind. 

Scott Frank, who made the excellent Western series Godless for Netflix, is the writer and director of The Queen's Gambit. He also co-wrote the script for best X-Men movie Logan, and wrote the scripts for '90s classics Get Shorty and Out of Sight. Worth keeping an eye on.

Blood of Zeus

Release date: October 27

Previously announced as Gods & Heroes, Blood of Zeus is another anime-style Netflix show that looks like it'll sit nicely alongside adult animated series like Castlevania (it's from the same animation studio, Powerhouse). It's about Heron, a normal man who discovers he's actually the illegitimate son of Zeus – he also discovers his real reason to be is to save the world from a horde of demons. Sounds like a tiring destiny to us. 

The voice cast includes Jason O'Mara, Jessica Henwick and Elias Toufexis (who voiced Adam Jensen in the Deus Ex videogames). 

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction season 3

(Image credit: MATHIEU BITTON/NETFLIX © 2020)

Release date: October 21

Robert Downey Jr and comedian Dave Chappelle are among the guests in the latest series of David Letterman's Netflix-only talk show. If you like detailed interviews without the tiresome meme-hungry trappings of late night chat shows in the US, this is a decent format for guests with something to say. Past interviewees have included Tiffany Haddish and Lewis Hamilton, if you fancy catching up before these new episodes land.