After ‘Monkey Man’, Netflix ditches Kathryn Bigelow film
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After 'Monkey Man', Netflix ditches Kathryn Bigelow film

As Dev Patel’s directorial debut, Monkey Man, stuns audiences worldwide, fans are relieved that the film ended up being made at all after being dropped by Netflix. Undeterred by the clear miss-step of ditching Patel’s project, the streaming giants have now abandoned their upcoming film Aurora, directed by Kathryn Bigelow. 

Monkey Man, which made its debut in the UK on April 5th, was eventually released by Universal Pictures, though it was originally tied to Netflix. Reportedly, the streaming giants were put off by the film’s clear political commentary and brutal action sequences, which would not endear the film towards the Central Board of Film Certification in India.

Luckily, the film was quickly picked up by Universal, helped along by noted director and comedian Jordan Peele. However, the fact that the film was abandoned by Netflix is indicative of the studio’s prioritisation of profits and mass-appeal rather than great filmmaking. This has, once again, been signified by the service dropping Bigelow’s Aurora.

The American filmmaker apparently left the project some months ago, with the suspected reason being a lack of creative control afforded by Netflix. Aurora was set to be an adaptation of David Koepp’s novel, which is focused on a blackout that causes a breakdown in society, leaving a woman and her step-son to fend for themselves. 

Losing the support and – presumably – respect of an Oscar-winning director such as Kathryn Bigelow is undoubtedly a hit for Netflix. However, the platform has grown something of a reputation for scrapping projects that do not seem to have immediate financial rewards, of which Aurora is only the latest victim. 

The only question that now remains is whether Aurora will be picked up by another studio? After all, with Bigelow connected to the project and the source material supplied by a respected author such as Koepp, the film seems something of a no-brainer. 

Film fans can only hope that Aurora gets the same resurgence as Dev Patel was afforded by Universal on Monkey Man. Only time will tell whether Bigelow’s film will ever see the light of day, but one thing is for certain: it will not be on Netflix.