HORIZON ZERO DAWN Series No Longer Moving Forward At Netflix

HORIZON ZERO DAWN Series No Longer Moving Forward At Netflix

Netflix has reportedly canceled its planned adaptation of PlayStation's Horizon Zero Dawn following allegations of "bullying" and "retaliatory behavior" by showrunner Steve Blackman (The Umbrella Academy).

By MattIsForReal - Jul 05, 2024 07:07 PM EST
Filed Under: Horizon Zero Dawn

The previously announced adaptation of PlayStation's Horizon Zero Dawn is no longer moving forward at Netflix. News of its cancellation comes amid reports of alleged "toxic, bullying, manipulative, and retaliatory behavior" of The Umbrella Academy showrunner Steve Blackman, who was also developing the video game adaptation.

Last week, Rolling Stone reported of twelve staffers and an HR complaint that accused Blackman of fostering a hostile workplace. Blackman has refuted the alleged report, calling these claims "entirely untrue" and "completely absurd."

While Netflix has not officially commented on the report, a new scoop by Rolling Stone's Cheyenne Roundtree — who covered the original Blackman story — claims that Blackman's two other projects in development at Netflix have been canceled. This includes the original space thriller Orbital and the video game adaptation Horizon Zero Dawn.

Blackman, The Umbrella Academy creator who also served as executive producer and showrunner, was reportedly offered an overall development deal worth $50 million at Netflix in 2020. Orbital and Horizon Zero Dawn were part of that package.

In a 2022 Netflix Tudum interview, Blackman was asked about the adaptation of Horizon Zero Dawn and why he was excited to tell the game's story. He explained:

Horizon Zero Dawn is an exceptionally well-crafted game with wonderful characters not often seen in the rank-and-file of the gaming world. Guerrilla Games has created an incredibly lush and vivid world of man and machine who find themselves on a collision course to oblivion. Their salvation comes in the form of a young female warrior named Aloy, who has no idea she's the key to saving the world. Suffice it to say, yes, Aloy will be a main character in our story. My writing partner on this, Michelle Lovretta, and I are thrilled to be able to expand this remarkable IP into a series for all types of viewers. 

Released in 2017 exclusively for PlayStation, Horizon Zero Dawn is an action role-playing game developed by Guerrilla Games. The game follows Aloy, a young hunter in a world overrun by machines, who sets out to uncover her past. The overview reads:

In an era where Machines roam the land and mankind is no longer the dominant species, a young hunter named Aloy embarks on a journey to discover her destiny.

In a lush, post-apocalyptic world where nature has reclaimed the ruins of a forgotten civilization, pockets of humanity live on in primitive hunter-gatherer tribes. Their dominion over the new wilderness has been usurped by the Machines – fearsome mechanical creatures of unknown origin.

Horizon Zero Dawn was both a critical and commercial success, with critics and fans praising its open world, story, visuals, combat, and performance by Ashley Burch (Aloy) The game won numerous awards and was one of the best-selling games on PlayStation.  An expansion, The Frozen Wilds, was released in November 2017, followed by a sequel, Horizon Forbidden West, in February 2022.

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