Netflix has canceled many shows over the past few years. Still, in a more recent trend, they’ve begun canceling titles even before they’ve been released despite being in development for a long time or having completed filming.
During COVID, we’ve seen a lot of different phenomena occur over this time period in the entertainment industry, such as the rise of VOD/home viewing options and hybrid releases, along with the eventual return of moviegoers to the theater once they felt safe enough to return to indoor spaces with strangers leading to the stronger box office for large event films.
Well, while many studios decided instead of releasing certain films theatrically, they would sell off to streamers with the intention they could potentially turn a profit from places with deep pockets desperately seeking content when many projects were paused over 2020.
With that in mind, we recently saw HBO Max under the new leadership of Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav intentionally started to scrap/scrub existing shows alongside completed films like the high-profile DC Comics film Batgirl (ahead of a relaunching of their cinematic universe) and the animated pic Scoob! Holiday Haunt as tax write-offs.
This cost-cutting measure is seemingly echoed by Netflix (alongside others) as they’ve been canceling a heap of their shows or movies despite having been completed, in deep development, or close to completion.
There are also completed or nearly finished projects being thrown into the mix for good measure, and we’ve compiled a rundown of those projects.
Here’s a rundown of those four live-action Netflix projects:
It was penned by Joe Russo and Chris LaMont with actors such as Bob Gunton, Peyton List, Austin Stowell, Briana Middleton, David Walton, and Rachel Nichols taking roles.
It was initially included in the 2022 movie lineup but subsequently pushed back into 2023.
“On the eve of billionaire Charles Abernathy 75th birthday when he invites his four estranged children back home out of fear that tonight someone — or something — is coming to kill him. To ensure his family will help protect him from whatever’s coming, Abernathy puts each of their inheritances on the line — they’ll get nothing if he’s found dead by dawn.”
“A mother recovering from a brutal accident moves into a prototype smart home with her family, only to find the house’s AI system may have sinister intentions.”
The script hails from screenwriters Anna Halberg and Spenser Cohen with a cast that consists of Alice Braga, Kris Holden-Ried, and Sarah Gadon.
Grendel (Season 1)
One of the only series Netflix previously given the ax despite having finished filming is the superhero series based on the Dark Horse Comics IP Grendel from showrunner Andrew Dabb (Resident Evil, Supernatural).
“Hunter Rose (Ali), a gifted fencer, writer and assassin, seeking to avenge the death of a lost love. He goes to war with New York’s criminal underworld, only to realize…why beat them, when you can join them?”
Dabb wrote the series with a group of actors: Abubakr Ali, Jaime Ray Newman, Julian Black Antelope, Madeline Zima, Kevin Corrigan, Emma Ho, Erik Palladino, Brittany Allen, and Andy Mientus.The show was originally intended to have an eight-episode season.
Variety, in November 2022, reported that Lexi Alexander’s (Punisher: War Zone) nearly completed martial arts film Absolute Dominion (a co-production with Blumhouse Television) was on the chopping block.
“A violent, post-apocalyptic film, which takes place in 2085 A.D. after the world has been destroyed by religious warfare. Desperate to save humanity, global governing forces host a gripping, no-holds-barred, martial arts tournament. The last fighter standing wins Absolute Dominion for one faith/”
They put together an interesting mix of actors for the sci-fi martial arts film such as Alex Winter, Patton Oswalt, newcomer Désiré Mia, Fabiano Viett, Julie Ann Emery, singer-songwriter Andy Allo, and Alok Vaid-Menon.
Animated Projects Shelved at Netflix
Of course, this comes after a string of animated projects were nixed last year after Netflix decided to trim its spending habits.
Those previously scrapped titles include the Ava DuVernay series Antiracist Baby, Bad Crimes, Boons & Curses, Dino Daycare, Kung-Fu Space Punch, Pearl, The Twits, Toil & Trouble, Wings of Fire, With Kind Regards From Kindergarten, and Bone.
The latter is based on the beloved Jeff Smith comic books that had been struggling for ages to get some sort of adaptation made but, obviously, wasn’t in the cards at Netflix.
We’re also keeping close tabs on Escape From Hat, which comes from Kung Fu Panda director Mark Osborne that might not be moving forward as well, but that hasn’t been fully confirmed yet.
Hopefully, Netflix remains committed to future projects and isn’t going to keep pulling the rug from underneath other filmmakers, animators, and showrunners in the future.