Netflix Animation has had a few rough weeks as projects in development have been culled. We’ve seen over half a dozen animation projects canned and another we can now add to the list is Kung-Fu Space Punch which comes from Maya and the Three creator, Jorge R. Gutierrez.
First announced all the way back at Annecy Festival in 2017, Kung Fu Space Punch was originally envisioned as an animated movie that was described as a “colorful animated sci-fi extravaganza”. Annecy, for those who don’t know, is an animation festival that takes place in France. According to Variety, festival-goers got to see a work-in-progress presentation of the project.
The plot, at the time, revolved around Johnny Holliday who is “an American Kung Fu cowboy guy in space who falls in love with Ramona Sanchez, a hot-headed childhood rival turned hardcore Mexican cop, while fighting the legendary villain Kathulo for the fate of the galaxy.”
Since that presentation, things had gone dark on the project with Jorge signing an overall deal with Netflix in 2020 and focusing on other projects such as Netflix’s limited series, Maya and the Three where he served as writer, voice actor, and director.
Now we know that the project was in early development at Netflix and designed to be a Maya and the Three sequel that was set in the future.
Gutierrez described the project as follows:
” This version of Space Punch would have been just like Maya And The Three, an original epic 270min (in 9 chapters) limited series with a healthy budget. With the way streaming is currently going it makes sense to me why this is such a risk. I’m just thankful it had another shot. This Netflix version was an action packed love story with the reincarnations of Maya and Zatz as an outlaw and space sheriff. For anyone who saw the Annecy presentation this was that times 100!”
Now we know, however that the project is not moving forward at Netflix. The announcement came out on Twitter on May 27th alongside initial plans for the project.
In a follow-up Tweet, Gutierrez stated that the project could eventually go elsewhere saying:
“It’s not dead DEAD. Just not moving forward at Netflix Animation. This means I have to set it up a different studio to make it which of course is my plan. I adore this idea and it will get made. The Book of Life took 14 years to happen. I’m a patient hombre :)”
Other canceled Netflix Original animation projects (that we know about) include:
- Anti Racist Baby
- Boons and Curses
- Dino Daycare
- The Twits
- Toil and Trouble
- Wings of Fire
Despite the news of Kung Fu Space Punch being canceled, the creator’s animated Netflix feature film, I, Chihuahua, is still believed to be moving forward with Gabriel Iglesias attached. That project was first announced just a couple of months ago in March 2022.