A few days after the release of 1899, Netflix’s new horror series, Brazilian novelist Mary Cagnin brought to Twitter her claim that Netflix stole her work for the show. Even worse, without her authorisation.
The following article will contain spoilers for 1899.
On Twitter, Cagnin wrote a detailed thread on how she believes that Netflix stole imagery and certain details from her comic book Black Silence that was published in 2016. Cagnin also attached images with side-by-side comparisons from her comic and the show to prove her point.
ESTOU EM CHOQUE.
O dia que descobri que a série 1899 é simplesmente IDÊNTICO ao meu quadrinho Black Silence, publicado em 2016.
Segue o fio. pic.twitter.com/1deBicrBeQ
— Just Mary (@marycagnin) November 20, 2022
Since the original thread was written in Portuguese, fortunately, Twitter user @AzziStardust translated everything into English. You may find the English thread here.
Similarities between Black Silence and 1899
Throughout the series, there is recurring imagery of the black pyramid.
Aside from the pyramid, the deaths inside the spaceship, the international crew, and the symbols in the eyes when they appear are all similar to her work.
Even the written codes, the voices calling the characters, and the subtle details of the plot such as the personal dramas of their characters and their mysterious deaths are all akin to Black Silence.
Cagnin added that she believes that this was possible because of her participation in the Gothenburg Book Fair, a very famous and influential book fair in Europe. At the book fair, she distributed Black Silence in Portuguese and English to numerous publishers and people in the field.
While Black Silence is a short story, Cagnin claims that it would be easy to diminish the “references” from her book into 12 hours of screen time — yet the essence of what she created are still evident.
However, despite the claim and detailed thread, many Twitter users and Netflix audiences have mixed reactions towards the issue. While some are appalled by Netflix’s unauthorised use of her work, those who have read the English version of “Black Silence” and also watched the show are siding with Netflix as they believe that the two are not that similar.
For those interested in comparing the two, Black Silence is available in Portuguese and English, for free, here.