Was the Horizon Zero Dawn Netflix show canceled?

The Horizon Zero Dawn video game series captivated gamers with its rich narrative and expansive world. In 2022, Sony and Guerrilla Games announced plans to extend this universe into television, promising fans a new dimension to explore Aloy’s adventures beyond gaming consoles. Recent developments, however, have clouded the future of this highly anticipated adaptation.

Horizon Zero Dawn TV series, explained

Aloy posing in the sunset, Horizon Zero Dawn.
Aloy in the sunset. Image via Guerrilla Games

Set in a post-apocalyptic world where nature has reclaimed the Earth and mechanical beasts roam, Horizon Zero Dawn follows the protagonist Aloy on a quest for truth and survival. Sony’s ambitious announcement in 2022 to adapt this beloved franchise into a TV series sparked excitement among fans eager to see Aloy’s heroic odyssey and the vivid, post-apocalyptic landscapes of the game come alive on screen.

Early discussions in 2024 indicated progress towards scripting and development, positioning Horizon to join the ranks of successful video game adaptations like Netflix’s Arcane and upcoming projects such as The Last of Us on HBO.

Was the Horizon Zero Dawn Netflix show canceled?

Allegations against showrunner Steve Blackman cast a dark cloud over the Horizon Zero Dawn adaptation. Blackman, who was set to spearhead the project, faced accusations of creating a toxic work environment and discriminatory behavior.

These controversies have reportedly led to Netflix canceling the Horizon Zero Dawn series and another project he was involved in.

According to the HR complaints obtained by the Rolling Stones, Blackman’s tenure on The Umbrella Academy was marred by accusations of bullying, manipulation, and creating a hostile workplace. A former writer claimed, “He told me he fired them because one was pregnant and didn’t tell him,” highlighting the extent of the alleged misconduct. These issues prompted a January 2023 HR complaint, which accused Blackman of fostering a toxic environment and making lewd remarks.

Despite a spring 2023 investigation by Universal Content Productions largely clearing Blackman of these accusations, the fallout was significant. Netflix decided to drop his upcoming projects, including the highly anticipated Horizon Zero Dawn series. This move reflects the industry’s increasing intolerance for toxic behavior, even from high-profile figures.

As a result, fans eagerly anticipating the Horizon Zero Dawn adaptation will have to wait for now and hope it’ll be picked back up.

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