Why the animated rock band movie hasn’t happened… yet

    default band Gorillaz He has been one of the driving forces in rock music and genre fusion over the past twenty years. Made up of four fictional musicians – 2-D, Murdoc Niccals, Russel Hobbs, and Noodle – the band is the brainchild of real-life musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett. While Albarn, also frontman of legendary Britpop band Blur, is responsible for crafting Gorillaz’s musical identity, Hewlett handles all of the visuals, story, and other artistic endeavors that branched out from the animated band. In addition to her debut singles “Clint Eastwood”, “Feel Good Inc.” Gorillaz has built a dedicated fan base and continues to be a hit with each new record. their latest album, Cracker Islanddebuted atop the charts and marked the band’s first No. 1 album since 2005 Cursed days.

    Today’s movie

    Considering how important a role visuals and story play in the overall presentation of Gorillaz, it’s somewhat surprising that there hasn’t been a movie or animated series involving the group. While fans tasted what Gorillaz movie With the band’s many outlandish music videos, Albarn and Hewlett have been aspiring to revive a Gorillaz movie or series for a while now. The idea of ​​a movie centering on the hypothetical band has basically been flitting around since the group’s debut in 2001. Several studios have expressed interest in the project over the years, yet it has never made it to screens. Here’s what we know about why that is:

    Developmental roller coaster

    Weird Gorillaz and Timez Music Video Astronauts
    Parlophone, Warner

    After the first Gorillaz record was released in 2001, Hewlett and Albarn were already interested in developing a Gorillaz movie. Outside of the success of singles like “Clint Eastwood” and “2000-19,” there has been a lot of international interest in Gorillaz. The band’s animated characters captured audiences’ imaginations and the music videos that accompanied the first record became just as recognizable as the songs they were made for. In an effort to build on this success, there were three different scripts written for a potential Gorillaz movie. Some different animation studios, such as Dreamworks, were interested in producing the films, but these deals ultimately fell through.

    One script in particular for a movie titled Celebrity Harvest, making it more developed than others. The film has been teased across multiple channels, with the title revealed in material released alongside Blur’s seventh studio album, Think tank. Eventually, development of the film stalled and many of its ideas were reworked into art and music for the band’s second album, Cursed days. Soon after, another Gorillaz movie script was written, which was to take inspiration from the Chinese novel Journey to the West. Eventually, Albarn and Hewlett turned this idea into a stage adaptation of the story, titled Monkey: Journey to the West, which was not technically a Gorillaz project but is generally considered virtual-adjacent material. As the years went by, there would be many more examples of a Gorillaz movie or series in development, but none of these projects ever came to fruition.

    Related: Best Animated Series Canceled Too Soon

    Netflix enters the picture

    Art by Gorillaz Digital Band
    Parlophone, Warner

    The biggest hope for a Gorillaz movie in 2020 came when Albarn confirmed that a deal had been reached to produce the film at Netflix. At the time, the band was finishing their seventh studio album. The Song Machine, Season 1: Strange Timing, which was supposed to be the beginning of a new collaborative series for the band. Albarn said the plan was to produce the film alongside The Song Machine, Season Two, and that he and Hewlett began writing screenplays and working on the film in earnest. Things seemed to be going smoothly for the Netflix movie, as a year later Albarn continued to discuss the film and promised it was being actively produced.

    However, there was some skepticism in the air about the project as time continued to pass without an update. Moreover, Gorillaz announced their next album, which unexpectedly was not yet another part of song machine Serial, but it was a new version Cracker Island. Albarn stated that many of the tracks on the new record, such as “Tormenta” which features Bad Bunny, were intended The Song Machine, Season Two But it has been reworked to fit Cracker Island instead of. Then, a week before the new record’s release, Albarn confirmed what fans had begun to assume; Gorillaz is no more on Netflix. The musician explained that the studio had pulled out of the project as part of its larger decision to produce a less absurd amount of content. The real nail in the coffin for this iteration of a Gorillaz movie came with Albarn stating that “we’ve been working on a Gorillaz feature film, which is never going to happen.”

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    Could it still be in the cards?

    Gorillaz g-bitez band sofa seating
    Parlophone, Virgin

    With all the obstacles that have been in the way of a Gorillaz movie over the years, it’s easy to get frustrated about whether such a movie would actually happen. The Netflix movie’s cancellation is the biggest setback the movie has faced in a while. This means that fans shouldn’t expect Gorillaz movie anytime soon. It’s possible that the concept was pushed back to day one, and if another studio should come in to pick up the movie, it would probably have to be completely rebooted and rewritten from the ground up.

    This doesn’t necessarily mean a Gorillaz movie will never happen. Given Albarn and Hewlitt’s continued desire to make a Gorillaz movie over the past 20 years, it’s safe to assume they’re still open to the idea and interested in making a movie about their eclectic animated ensemble. with success Cracker Island And The Song Machine, Season One, the band is in a better place now that some time has passed. Interest in the fictional group and their music is growing, making the prospect of a feature film based on the band more likely than would otherwise have been anticipated. A Gorillaz movie certainly won’t be released in the next few years, as Albarn is set to tour with Blur this summer, which will likely be followed by a Gorillaz tour in support of Cracker Island. So Albarn and Hewlett are full of the imminent future. But after that, who knows what could happen?

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