Funnily enough, this was not the first time Gorillaz had a movie announced and then eventually canceled. Back in 2002, the band announced that they would be featured in an animated film called “Celebrity Harvest,” which was teased as “a very dark film” involving zombies and the price of fame after the success of their self-titled debut. However, by the time 2005’s classic “Demon Days” was released, “Celebrity Harvest” was nowhere to be found, implying that it was dead.
In a partially archived interview with Q, it was revealed in 2017 that DreamWorks Animation had originally partnered with the band for the film. However, executives had it canceled due to its mature content. Keep in mind that the then-fledgling studio had released “Shrek” and “Spirit” around the same time as Gorillaz’s debut — now that they were seen as another family-friendly alternative to Disney, they probably didn’t want that image to be tainted with Albarn and Hewlett’s musical visions of zombies and cannibals.
As for Netflix’s cancelation having to deal with animation budget cuts, Albarn told Humo he wasn’t surprised, especially since their primary link to Netflix left the company. He called Hollywood a territorial industry, implying that whoever took over the project didn’t like what they had to offer.
“If a new guy comes along, he must and will have a different opinion, even if he secretly agrees with his predecessor,” he said.
Of course, we know that this cancelation won’t mark the end for Gorillaz, as their eighth album “Cracker Island” will release this week. Unfortunately, with this and many other scrappings, Netflix is making it harder for people to admit that animation isn’t just for kids.