Ryan Murphy’s ‘The Watcher’: The First Trailer & More To Know About His New Netflix Thriller

The new Netflix series will bring the infamous story about a couple's dream home-turned-nightmare to life. From the first trailer to the cast, here's what you need to know about 'The Watcher.'

It’s Ryan Murphy season, everyone. Hot off the release of Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, Ryan has another Netflix series in the works. The Watcher is one of the most highly-anticipated series hitting Netflix this year. The first trailer was released on September 24, giving a glimpse into the haunting series.

The show, releasing October 13, is based on the terrifying true story of the “Watcher” house in New Jersey. Before the series drops, HollywoodLife has all the details you need to know before the premiere, including the cast, creative team, and backstory. Find out more here!

The Watcher
The Braddock family in ‘The Watcher.’ (Netflix)

When will The Watcher premiere?

The Watcher is a Netflix original series, and it will be made available on the streaming platform on Thursday, October 13. The rights to the story and a New York Magazine article following the infamous story were the subject of a major bidding war, which Netflix won out in 2018, per Deadline. This isn’t the only time that creepy story has inspired a production. A movie also titled The Watcher was released in 2016 and was inspired by the events, per IMDb.

Who’s in the cast for The Watcher?

These are the cast members confirmed for The Watcher:

Bobby Cannavale
Bobby Cannavale as Dean Brannock. (Netflix)
  • Jennifer Coolidge as Karen Calhoun. The White Lotus star is one of the biggest names for the series. She’s set to star as the smiling and welcoming real estate agent who sold the gorgeous home to the Brannocks. Jennifer was reported to be the star in November 2021 by Deadline
  • Mia Farrow as Pearl. Mia is no stranger to horror! One of her early film successes was starring in the film Rosemary’s Baby (1968), and she also appeared in the 2006 remake of The Omen. This will be Mia’s first onscreen role since playing herself in a 2016 episode of Documentary Now. 
  • Naomi Watts as Nora Brannock. The Mullholland Drive star will be one of the leads playing the terrified homeowner. She announced her excitement to be part of the series in a September 2021 interview with Entertainment Weekly. “I’m thrilled to be working with Ryan, he seems to have the Midas touch. It’s a genre that you know I love,” she told the outlet.
  • Bobby Cannavale as Dean Brannock. The Ant-Man star was revealed to be Naomi’s co-star in June 2021, per Deadline. Bobby and Naomi both worked together in the  2021 movie This Is The Night.
Mia Farrow
Mia Farrow and Terry Kinney in ‘The Watcher.’ (Netflix)

Other cast members include Billions actor Terry Kinney as Michael, Michael Devine as Christopher, Matthew Del Negro as Darren Dunn, Michael Nouri and Yuko Torihara as Roger and Miko Kaplan, Margo Martindale as Mo, Richard Kind as Mitch, Noma Dumezweni as Theodora, as well as Joe Mantello, Christopher McDonald, Michael Nouri, Isabel Gravitt, Henry Hunter Hall, and Luke David Blumm.

Is there any footage so far?

The first trailer was released during Netflix’s TUDUM event on September 24. The Brannocks receive a letter from “The Watcher.” He tells the family that their house is “my obsession. And now you are too.” The family begins questioning everyone around them as weird and terrifying happen around the house. “I will never stop watching,” The Watcher vows.

The first teaser was released on September 9. The footage features Jennifer Coolidge as the realtor talking up the 657 Boulevard house in New Jersey. The teaser does give a glamorous look at the mansion, with Jennifer complimenting the many aspects of the home, along with the amenities. Even though it’s bright and makes the home look inviting, there is one moment where Jennifer hints at the menacing nature of the show.

After showing a bedroom curtain, she advises them to keep the windows closed. “You want to keep the curtains closed. There’s a lot of weird neighbors and stuff out there, and you know, you don’t want them watching you. That’s for sure,” she said. While it’s not clear if any of this footage is used in the show, it does give a feel for what Jennifer’s portrayal of the realtor will be like!

Who is the creator?

Ryan Murphy co-created the series alongside his collaborator Ian Brennan. (Shutterstock)

The mastermind behind The Watcher was Ryan Murphywho has also created major hits like American Horror Story, and Glee. It’s probably safe to assume that the new show will have more in common with AHS than the musical sitcom. Ryan co-created the series with Ian Brennan, who worked alongside him as a writer and producer for both Glee and Scream Queens. Ian was also a writer and producer for the horror comedy Cooties.

What’s the show about?

The thriller’s description on Netflix describes the show’s dark suburban thriller themes. “Ominous letters. Strange neighbors. Sinister threats. A family moves into their suburban dream home, only to discover they’ve inherited a nightmare,” it reads.

As previously mentioned, the series is based on a 2018 New York Magazine article chronicling the true story of the Broaddus family. The Broadduses had purchased a home in Westfield, New Jersey in 2014 for $1.3 million, and were planning to make their move into when they started receiving disturbing and mysterious letters from an unknown person, who identified themself simply as “The Watcher.” The letters were shocking to say the least. “657 Boulevard has been the subject of my family for decades now and as it approaches its 110th birthday, I have been put in charge of watching and waiting for its second coming,” The Watcher wrote, claiming that other members of their family had watched the home. “It is now my time. Do you know the history of the house? Do you know what lies within the walls of 657 Boulevard? Why are you here? I will find out.”

The family continued to receive letters from the anonymous letter writer, requesting that they fill the house with “young blood.” The Broaddus family tried to figure out who had written the letters to no avail. To this day, it’s still not clear who had left the series of disturbing letters, but a number of different theories have circulated, ranging from neighbors, the previous owners, and even the Broadduses themselves. The family tried to sue the previous owners and explored options to sell or rent the home. The family finally managed to sell their home in August 2019 at a loss for $959,000, per The New York Times

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