Gorillaz confirm their animated movie was cancelled by Netflix: “Hollywood is quite territorial”

They started to panic because they were making too much content,” Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn said.  

Damon Albarn has confirmed that the feature-length film co-created by Gorillaz has been cancelled. In 2020, the band’s frontman revealed that a “kind of abstract” animation produced by the streaming giant was in the works, saying he and his Gorillaz bandmates had “signed contracts” and commenced script-writing. 

At the time, Albarn commented on the risk Netflix took when developing the Gorillaz movie, given that the animated format is “very expensive.” In 2021, Albarn updated fans on the status of the film — which he likened to those by Japanese animation studio Studio Ghibli — saying the script had “been through so many incarnations.” Further details around the plot remained scarce, but another update around the movie has arrived again this week. 

Damon Albarn performing
Credit: Anna Barclay for Glastonbury Festival via Getty Images

On Tuesday (February 21), Albarn confirmed — without naming names — that the project had been scrapped, citing the oversaturation of content on Netflix. “The streaming platform for which we were making the film has withdrawn,” Albarn told Belgian publication HUMO. They started to panic because they were making too much content and decided to cut back on their movie offerings.” 

The frontman went on to reveal that a key producer for the Gorillaz film — whom he described as a “guardian angel” — had since exited the project, which left a “bad smell hanging on” the band and their film. “​​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.” 

Gorillaz animations
Credit: YouTube

It comes amid a wave of cancellations of original content across most streaming services, with Netflix purging a swathe of its titles since as early as 2019. Santa Clarita Diet, Mindhunter, Glow and Daredevil are among the Netflix series to have been scrapped, often in-between season and key cliffhangers. Meanwhile, Gorillaz’ most recent single, the Adeleye Omotayo-assisted Silent Runningarrived last month.