Gorillaz Movie Canceled Amid Netflix Animation Purge, Says Damon Albarn
Gorillaz are a fictional animated band who have remained culturally relevant for decades and who are playing just below Bad Bunny on this year’s Coachella lineup. That’s pretty amazing! Given that track record, you’d think that an animated Gorillaz movie would make sense. And you’d think that Netflix, a company that’s made animated projects for musicians like Kid Cudi and Sturgill Simpson, would be an ideal partner. For a while, Netflix did reportedly have a Gorillaz movie in the works, but now it looks like that’s not happening.
Gorillaz creators Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett have been teasing the idea of a Netflix Gorillaz movie for a few years. In interviews, they’ve talked about the possibility of a full-length narrative Gorillaz film, one that isn’t necessarily tied in with an album, and the Gorillaz Wiki has kept track of the whole development. Recently, though, Netflix has been dismantling much of its own animation division, cancelling acclaimed shows like Inside Job and Dead End: Paranormal Park and shutting down long-planned adaptations of Bone and Wings Of Fire. Now, Damon Albarn implies that the Gorillaz movie has been a victim of one of those purges, too.
Gorillaz are about to release their new Cracker Island album, so Damon Albarn has been doing some press lately. In a new interview with the Belgian publication HUMO, Albarn said that the project is dead. In the interview, Google-translated back from Dutch, Albarn said, “The new record came about because Jamie and I were often in Los Angeles. We were working on a Gorillaz feature film, which will never happen.” When asked if the film has been “permanently suspended,” Albarn responded:
Yes. That is to say, and without naming names because the whole matter has not yet been settled: the streaming platform for which we were making the film has withdrawn. They 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.
This would seem to suggest an open window for Peacock or Paramount+ or whoever, but who even knows these days.