Netflix has announced that they are no longer moving forward with the upcoming animated project Ember, the latest film from Sergio Pablos, the director of 2019’s BAFTA award-winning and Academy Award-nominated film Klaus.
The report of the cancellation of Ember at Netflix was first broken by Variety, who also said that the project wasn’t scrapped by the streaming service due to worries of cost —something that often leads to animation projects being cut short due to how long it takes to develop them compared to live action — but rather a creative difference between the two. Ember was announced to be heading to Netflix as part of its animation slate of European animated content back in June 2022. The news that Pablos would once again be working with Netflix seemed to make sense, as the two sides had worked with one another in the past, with Klaus being distributed by the streaming service and was Netflix’s first original animated feature film. The positive reception from fans and critics as well as its winning of multiple awards and an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature made were definitely reasons for Pablos to return, but it would seem from the report that the two sides couldn’t come to terms creatively.
While Ember is no longer being worked at on Netflix, the project is not completely dead in the water. Variety does confirm that Pablos does retain the rights to Ember and that it remains in production. The project can be shopped around to other buyers if he sees fit. Animated by Pablos‘ animation studio, SPA Studios, the hand-drawn film was described as an “epic adventure of Dikika, a young girl who sets out to receive a spark from a distant volcano in order to save her tribe.” The film did not have a release date or window before its cancellation at Netflix.
Netflix’s Past With Cancelled Series
This is just the latest animated project that Netflix has cancelled, along with the Ava DuVernay-produced adaptation of the book series Wings of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland, a series called Antiracist Baby, and a film known as With Kind Regards From Kindergarten, all of which were cancelled earlier this year in May. Leaving the animated medium has many other projects at Netflix getting the axe recently, including the workplace sitcom Blockbuster, The Midnight Club, The Bastard Son and the Devil Himself, and Warrior Nun all received cancellation just in December alone. Despite these animated series not moving forward at the streaming service, sources at Netflix also stressed to Variety that the company is still committed to series and films geared toward kids and families.
Stay tuned to Collider for future updates about Ember and where it ends up in its post-Netflix development.