Netflix's 'Daybreak' drew inspiration from Parkland gun control activists
The upcoming Netflix teen comedy Daybreak is a post-apocalyptic riff on how much high school bites. Yet, for all its breakneck hijinks of teenagers trying to survive a world where adults are brain-dead husks, the series’ producers found themselves taking a cue from young activists in the real world.
Netflix showcased the upcoming series at New York Comic Con. Based on the comic book series by Brian Ralph, Daybreak takes place in a California suburb, six months after a bombardment of nuclear explosions. The radiation turned all adults over the age of 18 into “ghoulies” — husks that can only utter the last thoughts that went through their minds as they died.
With no adult supervision, teens now roam the world in a Mad Max-meets-Zombieland society that thrives on chaos. But one teenager, Josh (played by Colin Ford) only wants to find his girlfriend Sam (Sophie Simnett). Through Josh, Daybreak will see teenagers trying to rebuild the world, with mixed results.
Series star Matthew Broderick, who plays a high school principal, said at the panel, “Part of the story is that kids take over, and it pretty quickly develops into the same problems adults had. That’s one story. The same troubles happen when you form a government or some kind of — they have to rebuild society, and they start to make these same mistakes that their parents made. Which has been happening for a long time now.”
Executive producer Jeffrey Fierson further added that the series, while based on the comic, was partially inspired by the survivors of the 2018 Parkland shooting, who went on to become activists on gun control.
“This is a generation we feel really optimistic about,” Fierson said. “When we started, when we got the green light to do the show, it was actually a couple weeks after Parkland. And we looked at Emma González, we looked at David Hogg, we looked at these kids, and we said, these are inspirational figures. They’re gonna be okay. They’re standing up right now saying, ‘What’s going on is not okay.’”
Fierson added, “We wanted our kids in this apocalypse to be in the toughest circumstances imaginable, and yet they face it with optimism, they face it with vigor and they’e gonna try to live their best lives, but they’re gonna try to make the world over again and they’re going to try to make it better than we did.”
Daybreak will premiere October 24 on Netflix.