Netflix Cancels Two Movies And Laying Off Employees In Shocking Turn Of Events

By Britta DeVore | Updated

The first studio to start the streaming revolution, Netflix is facing some major restructuring for the foreseeable future. According to Variety, the execs are eyeing a change in the studio’s animation unit that will lead to job cuts and the discontinuation of two films that are in the pre-production stages. How many folks will be losing their positions with the company remains unknown, but answers are expected to come within the next few weeks.

Netflix is reportedly restructuring its entire animation unit, canceling two upcoming titles and allegedly cutting jobs.

To keep its animated content churning, Netflix will turn to outside producers to hop aboard projects otherwise saved for those on the streamer’s payroll. This decision will likely cause a lot of upset to be thrown in the company’s direction as, considering the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, all eyes have been on Hollywood and the entertainment business as a whole for how employees are treated. As of right now, the outside producers and companies that are being eyed up for the job haven’t been announced.

What Projects Are Being Canceled?

The projects now being axed from Netflix’s production lineup include the animated titles, Escape From Beverly Hills and Tunga. Not much is known about the former, as even its title was kept a secret until the reveal that it would no longer find a home at the streamer. It will now find itself back in the open market, searching for a new residency.

As for Tunga, the reveal that Netflix is dropping the production will come as a shocking one for anyone who has followed its journey. Won by the streamer back in 2019 from Zimbabwe-born creator Godwin Jabangwe, the story centers around the Shona culture’s mythology and follows a young girl who seeks the teachings of elder spirits to give her the powers to control rain. With her new skills, the girl will bring her community from the edge of destruction following years of a life-altering drought.

Guillermo del toro's pinocchio
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

The news of Netflix’s animation cuts is likely a punch in the gut for the streaming service as it celebrated a highly successful year up to this point. The tail end of 2022 saw the release of Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, which nabbed the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. With a story reimagined from the mind behind such fantastical monster flicks as The Shape of Water, Pan’s Labyrinth, and Hellboy, the traditional story of the wooden boy was given a much deeper and darker vision. 

Streaming Platforms Rocky 2023

Recently, it seems that just about every streamer has been struggling to rake in the money they were hoping for at the end of the year. With a handful of platforms including Disney+, Paramount, and NBCUniversal pushing their ad-tier-supported options, it’s clear that they’re trying to make some extra dough. Along with Netflix’s latest reveal of layoffs, DreamWorks Animation is making similar moves, revealing their plans to cut 70 jobs.

Still, Netflix will continue to bring audiences some star-studded and highly-anticipated projects including the upcoming Adam Sandler and Bill Burr-voiced Leo and Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget. Stay tuned to find out more about Netflix’s monumental animation cuts over the next few weeks.