Why Netflix Quietly Removed One Of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Most Popular Movies

Benedict Cumberbatch

Netflix crossed the line recently when 2018’s The Grinch was quietly removed from the streamer’s library. Fans were crushed, as now would be the perfect time to stick on the modern Christmas classic, but the animated movie has been pulled just a few days into December, before most subscribers had got the chance to give it a rewatch.

Social media quickly became full of furious users demanding it be added back to the site, but to be fair to Netflix, the reason The Grinch was removed is likely nothing to do with them. No statement has been given in response to the backlash against the film’s vanishing act, but if you check out the platform’s FAQ, there’s a blanket answer that explains why movies sometimes leave the streaming giant’s library, revealing that it’s usually all to do with licensing rights.

“Netflix works with content providers, distributors, producers, and creators to acquire licensing for TV shows and movies to stream on our service,” the official Netflix FAQ reads. “When content is not available to stream, it can be for a few different reasons including: The content rights are currently exclusive to another company; The streaming rights are not available to purchase from the content provider; and Popularity, cost, seasonal or other localized factors, or availability.”

It’s possible that The Grinch was pulled from Netflix by NBCUniversal, who might be planning to exclusively debut the pic on Peacock, their own streaming service. If that’s the case, though, we don’t know when it could be headed to the site as, currently, it’s not found anywhere else on streaming and you’ll have to buy or rent it digitally to access it. You’d think Peacock would want it up for the Christmas season if that’s the reason behind the flick’s removal, but maybe not?

Either way, the good news is that 2000’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas remains on Netflix, so you can always watch Jim Carrey’s live-action performance as the green grouch – even if you can’t do a double-bill with Benedict Cumberbatch‘s CG version anymore. Remember, NBC is also airing Dr Seuss’ The Grinch Musical! this holiday season, starring Glee’s Matthew Morrison in the title role. So, there’s no shortage of the Grinch content to enjoy in December.