Netflix canceled a lot of great shows in 2023 that could have gathered fanbases if they stuck around for more than a season or two. Still, at least Netflix subscribers were able to get a taste of these shows before they were axed. It’s all the more disappointing when you hear about a great show or movie on the cusp of coming to streaming, only for it to be shelved. What was supposed to be Halle Berry’s Netflix new release The Mothership got the “very rare” shelved treatment (despite already being filmed), and an executive from the streaming service explains why.
The Mothership was about Sara Morse, played by Halle Berry, becoming a single mother after her husband vanishes from their farm. Once her children discover an extraterrestrial object underneath their home, they’re able to find the answers to their father’s disappearance. This nearly completed sci-fi film was in the process of post-production, meaning a lot of time and money was put into the Matthew Charman-helmed project. After reports came out last week that the upcoming release was shelved, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Bela Bajaria stated to Deadline that the cancellation was a “very rare” move:
It is very rare. If you think about how many things we make, it’s a rare thing.
This was reportedly a decision for which production company MRC and The Mothership’s producers Automatik were on board. You would almost find it hard to believe that scrapped projects are a “rare” thing for streaming services considering the many we know about. Warner Bros. Discovery shelved anticipated projects like the $70 million dollar movie Batgirl that was in post-production because of the company’s desire to cut costs. Warner Bros. also scrapped the Looney Tunes movie Coyote Vs. Acme to focus on theatrical releases. Additionally, Netflix cancelled the release of two completed movies, The Inheritance and House/Wife, with the streaming service allowing these films to be released elsewhere.
Compared to Warner Bros. Discovery and Netflix shelving their projects for tax reasons or to find other homes for them, Bajaria said there were “lots of production issues” and “everybody on both sides, the talent and us all, just agreed that it was better to not launch it.” She continued to say more about what people needed to consider in Netflix’s decision to scrap The Mothership:
It’s hard to go, ‘Are there lessons in that?’ It happens so rarely. And 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.
It seems like there were a lot of creative struggles among the people of The Mothership. It was also reported by Deadline that any changes that needed to be done for the movie wouldn’t have worked out. Since the unreleased movie finished filming in 2021, the child actors that were part of the Netflix film are all grown up now.
The Netflix executive went on further to explain why Netflix felt it was time to say goodbye to The Mothership:
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.
Hopefully that time can come when everyone can get together for a whole new project. As for Halle Berry, her future at Netflix still looks bright. After the streaming service released her directorial debut Bruised, she made a deal with the company to star and produce multiple projects for them. Next up, Berry will co-star with Mark Wahlberg for the 2024 Netflix release The Union, which is about a construction worker thrown into the world of espionage through an old high school flame. Now, this is an action duo I'm looking forward to seeing.
It’s unfortunate that The Mothership won’t be making its way to Netflix due to the creative differences the crew had during post-production, but at least Halle Berry will still continue to play a big role in Netflix productions going forward. Make sure to add the 2024 movie release of The Union to your watchlist, with it arriving on August 16th.