Gorillaz Movie Not Happening at Netflix Anymore

Blur stalwart Damon Albarn and "Tank Girl" cartoonist Jamie Hewlett's cartoon pop band Gorillaz will not be making their big screen debut. Years after reports first surfaced that Netflix was developing a new feature-length film surrounding the virtual band, the streamer has seemingly hit the brakes, Albarn confirming in a recent interview that Netflix's Gorillaz movie "will never happen."

The topic of the long-awaited film's future came up as Albarn was discussing the band's eighth studio album, Cracker Island, with Belgian publication HUMO. Although Netflix has not officially confirmed the news, Albarn told the publication, per Stereogum, that "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 the outlet asked if the movie was "permanently suspended," Albarn confirmed that it is dead.

"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names because the whole matter has not yet been settled: the streaming platform for which we were making the film has withdrawn.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," Albarn explained. "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."

News of a Gorillaz movie being in the works first arose years ago, with Albarn telling Apple Music in 2021, "I'm in LA because we're making a full-length [Gorillaz] film with Netflix. We're having a writing session in Malibu. It's something we've been wanting to do for a very long time. It's been through so many incarnations, Gorillaz doing a movie." However, the project was never officially announced by Netflix and never went into production. A source told The Wrap that the project never emerged from the script development phase. It's possible that the project was shepherded by Mike Moon, who oversaw adult animation for Netflix until he stepped down in July 2022. Billy Wee, who was previously HBO Max's senior vice president of comedy and animation, replaced him. Amid the leadership shakeup, Netflix's animation lineup has undergone some major changes, with several series getting the axe, including Bad Crimes, Ava DuVerny's Wings of Fire, the preschool series Antiracist Baby, City of Ghosts, Centaurworld, and more. It is unclear if the Gorillaz movie will be shopped elsewhere.