For what it’s worth, Damon Albarn’s been keeping busy during this quarantine, working on new Gorillaz songs, with new music videos every month, an album that just came out last week, and it’s all part of a project called Song Machine. And in addition to all that, there’s going to be a movie made around next year.
To quote Damon Albarn:
Well, we are supposed to be making a film while we’re doing season two (Song Machine will be split into multiple seasons like a TV show). We signed contracts, we’ve begun scripts and stuff. Making an animated film that’s kind of abstract is quite a big risk for a movie studio because they’re very expensive. If you’re telling a slightly obtuse story that only sometimes makes any sense, it’s quite difficult. That’s what we’ve discovered. We will do it, we are doing it. I see a lot of people doing animated videos these days but I don’t think they really touch the quality of ours.
But who’s going to pony up to pay for the movie? Well, the answer would seem pretty clear: what sort of film company actually allows really risky moves by artists, like, say, allowing Martin Scorsese to make a movie and keep it 3 1/2 hours long? Or, for that matter, which distributor is actually managing to thrive in this COVID-infused market? And, of course, Damon Albarn answered that question in another interview:
“We have an agreement to make a movie with Netflix. I guess we will have to finish the second season and there will be time to finally be able to release the Gorillaz movie. I cross my fingers.”
And hopefully this will pan out. There was originally a plan to make a movie around the time the band’s first album came out, one called Celebrity Harvest that involved boils growing on the heads of celebrities whose egos became too big, which would “the end of time, brought about by the sickness of celebrity culture”. They pitched this to Dreamworks, who rejected this because they seriously expected Gorillaz to be family-friendly. Yes, the band whose members include an axe-crazy Satanist, the man he gave irreversible brain damage, a child soldier, and a drummer who’s demonically possessed by the ghosts of his friends who died in a drive-by shooting. And whose most famous song has a hook that’s almost certainly about weed. How could Dreamworks ever make that child-friendly?
Well, besides just not caring, I mean. And in addition, there were also whisperings of an animated series starring the band in 2017. They did not come to pass. So, let’s hope this one does.