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There's a very good reason Netflix's big sci-fi movie was canceled

Netflix reveals truth about abandoned movie.

There's a very good reason Netflix's big sci-fi movie was canceled
Marc Chacksfield
03 February 2024

News hit in late January that Netflix had abandoned plans to release Halle Berry's upcoming sci-fi movie The Mothership.

It was a big shock as the movie was shot and into post-production, and was pushed hard by the streaming giant. The problem was, the movie was set for release in 2022 and was meant to be on the same film slate as the likes of Spiderhead, Glass Onion, Enola Holmes 2 and The Adam Project.

This never happened and now we know why.

Speaking at a recent Netflix event the Bela Bajaria, CCO and current head of films for the streamer, explained that while it was "rare" for Netflix not to continue with a movie, but there were reasons.

“If you think about how many things we make, it’s a rare thing... It’s hard to go, ‘Are there lessons in that?’ It happens so rarely,” explained Bajaria.“

"You have to remember there are 100, 150 people that come together, and alchemy and chemistry, and it’s a creative endeavor, and everything doesn’t turn out how we want it to be.

"And on that one, there was just a lot of issues during production and stuff, creatively, so everybody just felt like it was the right thing to not do it and do something else together eventually.”

The Mothership isn't the end of Berry's time with Netflix. She is set to appear in spy thriller The Union which has a script by The Ritual's Joe Barton and Julian Farino directing who also worked with Barton on Giri/Haji.

There's a good reason Netflix's big sci-fi movie was canceled

While The Mothership's issues were different to other canceled movies and shows, there is a worrying trend in Hollywood right now to simply not release movies that have been made, for numerous reasons.

Warner Bros has a Batgirl movie that won't be released, while it also has also Coyote vs Acme on its books, an animation it originally wasn't going to release but is now shopping the movie to other distributors.

It is rare for Netflix to stop production of its movies but Gore Verbinski fell foul to this in 2022, with his completed animation Cattywumpus. Netflix decided not to release it and has been shopping it to other studios ever since.

Recently, the trailer for Monkey Man was released. This Dev Patel directed action movie was originally meant to be a Netflix release but it decided to hand it to someone else. Thankfully, that person was Jordan Peele and he and Universal suggested some edits and now we will see it released this year.

The Mothership was going to be the directorial debut of Matt Charman, who is best known for writing The Bridge of Spies.