Upcoming Gorillaz film canceled by Netflix

By Rocco Prioletti, Contributor

[Photo courtesy of Rolling Stone]

The English-led animated band Gorillaz has been dumped by Netflix, amidst a slew of company-wide layoffs, staff changes and cutbacks. The film’s cancellation broke into the public eye just days before the release of their eighth studio record Cracker Island.

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Spearheaded by multi-instrumentalist Damon Albarn and illustrator Jamie Hewlett, their partnership with Netflix began in 2020 with intentions to develop “one hour of pure fiction with music.”  However, three years later, the film would be stuck indefinitely within the stages of script development. Albarn goes as far to state that the film “will never happen.” 

Speaking on the cancellation with Belgian publication HUMO, Albarn stated that, “[Netflix] started to panic because they were making too much content and decided to cut back on their movie offerings. And, as has been classic Hollywood practice for decades, the guy we were working with has moved on to another company. From then on you have lost your guardian angel, and there seems to be a bad smell hanging on you. Hollywood is quite territorial: if a new guy comes along, he must and will have a different opinion, even if he secretly agrees with his predecessor.” 

Hopes of a Gorillaz feature-length film have been stuck in limbo as early as in 2002. Originally under the title of “Celebrity Harvest,” the band’s first attempt at the silver screen had endured three considered scripts, written by both Hewlett and writers of The Simpsons, before it’s cancellation. And again in 2017, where work on a ten-part series would be underway, coinciding with the release of Humanz.

Last year, Albarn prolifically stated his worries with the streaming service in an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, stating “It’s something we’ve been wanting to do for a very long time. It’s been through so many incarnations…this Gorillaz doing a movie. But Netflix, I don’t know.”

Pre-save Cracker Island here.

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