Kathryn Bigelow’s Aurora scrapped by Netflix

Kathryn Bigelow
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Under Netflix’s new head of film, auteur-driven projects are said to be very much out of favour: Kathryn Bigelow’s Aurora included.

Just a couple of weeks ago, we covered a report which suggested that Dan Lin, the new head of Netflix’s film division, would be looking to scale back the company’s commitment to high-budget films. Expensive movies like The Gray Man, Red Notice or Rebel Moon would be a thing of the past and the film division would instead focus its resources on mid-budget projects.

So far though, the only projects about that aren’t getting a green light seem to be the ones being led by auteur filmmakers.

David Lynch revealed last week that Netflix had rejected his pitch for a feature-length animation while it has emerged today that Aurora – a Kathryn Bigelow project that has been in the works for a while at Netflix – has now been scrapped according to a New York Times report.

We don’t know whether Aurora would have been a hugely expensive movie to make. The story ‘’follows the events of a solar storm that knocks out most of humanity’s power grids and focuses on the personal story of a divorced mother who must now do everything she can to protect her teenager and her estranged brother, a wealthy Silicon Valley CEO who has built a luxurious bunker in the desert for just such a disaster.’

We haven’t seen a planned production budget for the film so we don’t know what now constitutes an ‘expensive’ project at Netflix. Last year’s Leave The World Behind was said to have cost around $120m and if that figure is now deemed high for a company that is looking to cut its cloth in a more modest fashion, it looks like there may be other esteemed projects that fall by the wayside too.

The company still has deals in place with critically-admired filmmakers like David Fincher and Noah Baumbach, but the scrapping of a project that had Kathryn Bigelow – the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Director (for 2009’s The Hurt Locker) – represents an early marker that Netflix may no longer be the home for auteur projects that it traditionally has been.

Where this leaves Aurora, we don’t know. Bigelow hasn’t made a film now since 2017’s Detroit, and cinema is all the poorer for her continued absence. We’ll bring you more news on this one should we hear it. Hopefully, another studio will swoop in to revive the project but we haven’t yet heard any news to that effect.

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