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Jorge Gutierrez’s ‘Kung-Fu Space Punch’ Not Moving Forward at Netflix

The ‘Maya and the Three’ creator told his Twitter followers that he’s optimistic the project will be made, even if he has to set up a new studio to get it done.

Kung-Fu Space Punch, an animated sci-fi project from Maya and the Three creator Jorge R. Gutierrez, has reportedly been cancelled by Netflix Animation while still in development. His new animated feature film, I, Chihuahua, starring and produced by Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, is proceeding.

The project was announced back in 2017, when Gutierrez gave a work-in-progress presentation at the Annecy Festival. According to Variety, at that time, he described it as “a funny mash-up of 1990s kung fu films, spaghetti westerns of the ’60s, and the epic space adventures of the ’70s, ’80s, and today.”

When Gutierrez signed an overall deal with Netflix in 2020, he shifted his attention to his epic animated limited series, Maya and the Three, for which he served as a writer, voice actor, and director. Checking in with followers of his Twitter account, he confirmed that Kung-Fu Space Punch “is not moving forward at Netflix Animation.”

Gutierrez went on to describe what Kung-Fu Space Punch might have been.

“This version of Space Punch would have been just like Maya and the Three, an original epic 270min (in 9 chapters) limited series with a healthy budget,” he tweeted. “With the way streaming is currently going it makes sense to me why this is such a risk. I’m just thankful it had another shot. This Netflix version was an action packed love story… for anyone who saw the Annecy presentation this was that times 100!”

He also added that the project isn’t dead in the water, explaining, "It’s not dead DEAD. Just not moving forward at Netflix Animation. This means I have to set it up a different studio to make it, which, of course, is my plan. I adore this idea and it will get made. The Book of Life took 14 years to happen. I’m a patient hombre.”

Netflix’s axing of Kung-Fu Space Punch is yet another in a growing list of project cancellations at the company, as it works to regain its footing while weathering the effects of substantial subscriber losses, a falling stock price, and soft revenue growth. Earlier this month, the streamer also announced that it had pulled the plug on Ava DuVernay’s Wings of Fire, the preschool-age series Antiracist Baby, and the kids’ film With Kind Regards From Kindergarten, as well as a number of other animated projects. It also laid off some 150 U.S.-based staffers.

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Max Weinstein is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. He is the Editor-at-Large of 'Dread Central' and former Editorial Director of 'MovieMaker.' His work has been featured in 'Cineaste,' 'Fangoria,' 'Playboy,' 'Vice,' and 'The Week.'