On Sunday, Deadline confirmed that Netflix has canceled Meghan Markle’s planned animated series, “Pearl,” which was still in the development stage. The series was first announced in 2021, and it would have been the first animated series to come out of Markle and Prince Harry’s production company Archewell Productions, which the couple created in partnership with Netflix.
The series was set to follow a 12-year-old girl who found inspiration in the stories of famous women throughout history. When “Pearl” was announced last summer, Markle released a statement sharing how excited she and executive producer David Furnish were for viewers to see the show. “Like many girls her age, our heroine Pearl is on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to overcome life’s daily challenges,” she said. “I’m thrilled that Archewell Productions, partnered with the powerhouse platform of Netflix and these incredible producers, will together bring you this new animated series, which celebrates extraordinary women throughout history. David Furnish and I have been eager to bring this special series to light, and I am delighted we are able to announce it today.”
Prince Harry and Meghan, who moved to the US in 2020 after announcing they were stepping down as working members of the British royal family, signed a multi-year production deal with Netflix that same year.
The value of the deal was not disclosed, but estimates put it at anywhere between $100 million and $150m.
According to Deadline, Netflix’s decision to scrap the series seems to be due in part to its recent stock drop, which was tied to the company’s loss of subscribers.
Last month, Netflix revealed a sharp fall in subscribers and warned millions more are set to quit the service.
That wiped over $50bn off the company’s market value as experts warned it faced a struggle to get back on track.
Even though “Pearl” won’t be moving forward, Markle and Prince Harry still have several projects in various stages of development at Netflix. The royal couple created Archwell Productions in hopes of making programming that “informs, elevates, and inspires,” per the official website. That includes documentaries, feature films, series, and children’s programming.
Netflix confirmed that it would continue working on other Archewell Productions projects, such as the documentary series Heart of Invictus, which will focus on athletes competing in the Invictus Games for injured veterans, an event founded by Prince Harry, in The Hague in 2022.
Details on other projects have not been released, but the royal couple’s partnership with Netflix appears to be poised to continue even though “Pearl” won’t be moving forward at the streamer.