The Mothership | Scrapped Netflix film had the “makings of a classic” says artist who worked on it (exclusive)

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Cancelled Netflix sci-fi thriller The Mothership was “full of mystery and threat” and had “the makings of a classic,” its storyboard artist tells us.

In January, news broke that Netflix had made the decision to scrap The Mothership – a sci-fi thriller starring Halle Berry that had been shot and was initially scheduled for release in 2023.

To date, the only official comment we’ve heard from Netflix came from interim content boss Bela Bajaria, who at a press event in February said there were “lots of issues during production, and so everybody just felt like it was the right thing to… do something else together eventually.”

The decision to abandon a relatively high-profile movie with some Oscar-winning talent attached is unusual – Bajara herself admitted that the situation was “rare” – though not unheard of. Over the past year, Warner Bros has infamously scrapped the likes of Batgirl, Scoob! 2 and Coyote Vs Acme.

Neither Berry nor writer-director Matt Charman (who won an Oscar for his Bridge Of Spies screenplay) have offered their thoughts on The Mothership’s cancellation at the time of writing, and Netflix seems content to let the project quietly fade into history.

According to a storyboard artist who worked on the film, however, The Mothership at least had “the makings of a classic.” Although the artist prefers not to be named, they offered their thoughts on the project and its potential.

“I don’t understand why The Mothership was cancelled,” the artist told Film Stories via email, “because it had bags of everything a film needs and more. It was cosmic in conception, you were invested in the characters, it ticked along at a perfect pace trailing mystery and threat, and it shocked in the end.

“It seemed to me to have the makings of a classic. It’s a great disappointment that I won’t ever get to see the movie I saw in my head while storyboarding overlaid by the finished creation.”

In terms of storytelling, it sounds as though The Mothership had a solid foundation in place. At present, the synopsis is all we have to go on, but it hints at a sci-fi mystery with a touch of 1980s Amblin to it:

“A sci-fi adventure that follows Sara Morse (Halle Berry) one year since her husband mysteriously vanished from their rural farm. When she discovers a strange, extraterrestrial object underneath their home, Sara and her kids embark on a race to find their husband, father and most importantly – the truth.”

According to Hollywood insider Jeff Sneider, however, the problems came once filming had wrapped and those involved decided the film required “significant reshoots.” By this point, the production’s younger cast members had reportedly aged, making it difficult to match new footage with old.

Since then, writer-director Matt Charman has reportedly been given a new project at Netflix – a TV thriller series called The Choice, starring Suranne Jones. Whatever happened behind the scenes, a line has clearly been drawn under The Mothership.

We’ve contacted Netflix for their comments on the matter, but have yet to receive a response.

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