Kaleidoscope: 6 Quick Things To Know About The Netflix Crime Series

Rufus Sewell on Kaleidoscope
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix has long been a company that likes to try new things with the way it delivers its original shows, movies, and specials, whether that being revolutionizing the DVD-by-mail industry, ushering in the streaming era, or offering interactive programming. And it looks like the popular streaming service will take things to the next level when its new crime drama series, Kaleidoscope, premieres in early January 2023.

But, before we dive into what makes the show so unique when compared to other crime series streaming, let’s first dive into when we will be able to watch Kaleidoscope, details about its heist-based narrative, and who will be featured in its cast. Here are six quick things to know about what could be one of the most inventive titles anyone with a Netflix subscription has seen in a very long time…

Netflix logo

(Image credit: Netflix)

Kaleidoscope Premieres January 1, 2023

The past year has seen some of the biggest hits in the history of Netflix, with shows like Stranger Things Season 4, Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, and more recently, 1899, becoming massively successful series with an assortment of streaming records being broken in the process. The streamer isn’t waisting any time in its attempt to keep the ball rolling heading into the new year, as Kaleidoscope is slated to premiere January 1, 2023, making it great way to spend your lazy Sunday after riding in the new year. 

All eight episodes of the crime anthology series will be released at once, but how it is watched will most likely differ from person to person, in more ways than one. But, more on that later…

The Kaleidoscope Cast

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Kaleidoscope Cast Includes Giancarlo Esposito, Paz Vega, And Jai Courtney

All the best heist movies and shows have a few things in common: a big score, high stakes, and a large ensemble cast of memorable characters. Time will tell if the Kaleidoscope cast will be remembered years down the road, but a crack team of talented actors has been assembled for the streamer's first big show of 2023.

Leading off the cast is Giancarlo Esposito, the star of shows like Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, and The Mandalorian, where he played the terrifying and exciting Moff Gideon. This time around, Esposito will be playing a less evil character with his portrayal of Leo Pap, the ringleader of crew attempting to earn a big pay day. Joining him will be Paz Vega, of Rambo: Last Blood and Spanglish fame, as fellow criminal and weapons expert Ava Mercer, and Jai Courtney as safecracker Bob Goodwin, giving the actor best known for playing Captain Boomerang in the Suicide Squad movies another addition to his filmography.

Other members of the crew at the center of Kaleidoscope will be played by Rosaline Elbay (Ramy, Diamond Dust) as explosives expert Judy Goodwin, Peter Mark Kendall (Top Gun: Maverick, The Americans) as smuggler Stan Loomis, and Jordan Mendoza (Eva vs. Anxiety, Addiction Busters) as RJ Acosta Jr., the group’s driver. Rufus Sewell (The Holiday, The Man in the High Castle) as Roger Salas, the leader of a massive corporate security firm in charge of the vault.

The Kaleidoscope cast also includes Tati Gabrielle, Niousha Noir, Soojeong Son, and Hemky Madera, Netflix has announced.

The Kaleidoscope cast

(Image credit: Netflix)

Kaleidoscope Follows A Group Of Master Thieves As They Try To Unlock An ‘Unbreakable’ Vault

When Kaleidoscope kicks off the 2023 Netflix calendar on New Year’s Day, it will bring with it what sounds like an engaging and complex story about a group of master thieves attempting to work their way into what can best be described as an “unbreakable vault.” According to Tudum (opens in new tab), Kaleidoscope will take part over the course of 25 years, and will see the crew get past a powerful corporate security team and the FBI in order to pull off what could be the biggest payday in the history of heists. 

Not much else has been revealed about the plot, but Deadline reported that every episode of Kaleidoscope will reveal another piece of an elaborate puzzle of corruption, greed, vengeance, scheming, loyalties, and betrayals.

Giancarlo Esposito on Kaleidoscope

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Show’s Eight Episodes Don’t Have To Be Watched In A Certain Order

The story at the heart of Kaleidoscope will be told over the course of eight episodes, but how those episodes are watched will differ from viewer to viewer. Netflix has announced that each episode is given a color — Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet, Orange, Red, Pink, and White — and anyone can start with any of the options aside from White, which is the finale. In a YouTube video titled “Building Kaledioscope,” creator/showrunner Eric Garcia explained the non-linear viewing concept:

The idea for the series started from a structural place. I thought with a batched delivery, when you’re getting everything at once, there’s no reason, conceptually, why you should have to watch them one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. You’re gonna see a different order than I’m gonna see, than my mother is gonna see, than my wife is gonna see.

Garica went on to say that every episode has multiple connections to every other episode, which gives the viewer the freedom to explore the chapters in any particular order. This method will undoubtedly affect how each person sees the characters, story, and situations, creating what sounds like a unique experience.

Wet bonds in a case on Kaleidoscope

(Image credit: Netflix)

Kaleidoscope Was Loosely Based The Story Of $70 Billion In Bonds Being Lost During Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy was one of biggest natural disasters of the 21st Century, and caused as much as $70 billion in damages when it ravaged the Atlantic Coast in late 2012, according to NPR. In the fallout, there were stories about aquariums being flooded in the New York City area, but fish weren’t the only thing that went missing during the storm. According to the New York Post, an underground facility used by several big banks was flooded during the storm, causing around $70 billion in bearer bonds to potentially be lost forever. As improbable as it sounds, it's what led Eric Garcia to come up with the idea behind Kaleidoscope, as he revealed in the “Building Kaleidoscope” video:

It is based on a potentially real story. After Hurricane Sandy, $70 billion in unregistered bearer bonds were flooded and lost. My first thought upon reading all these things was, ‘Oh, someone made off with $70 billion, and is using Hurricane Sandy as like a really good excuse.

Like they always say, “truth is stranger than fiction.”

Harrison Ford in Blade Runner

(Image credit: Warner Bros. / Handout)

Ridley Scott Serves As One Of The Show’s Executive Producers

Ridley Scott and Eric Garcia first worked together in 2003 when the former adapted the latter’s 2002 novel, Matchstick Men, in a movie starring Nicolas Cage and Sam Rockwell. And now the two are working together once again on Kaleidoscope, which sees Scott, through his Scott Free Productions, serving as one of the show’s numerous executive producers.

Scott has a long history of crime films like Thelma & Louise, American Gangster, The Counselor, and House of Gucci, as well as visually arresting movies like Alien, Blade Runner, and The Martian, meaning the new Netflix show has quite a support system.

Expect to hear more about Kaleidoscope and read more about its release here at CinemaBlend in the weeks to come. In the meantime, get a head start and check out the other great shows on the 2023 TV schedule.

Philip Sledge
Content Producer

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.