Due to the coronavirus pandemic shifting the film industry upside down, Shadow and Act has learned that Antebellum starring Janelle Monáe will bypass theaters and head straight to premium video-on-demand. The film will be released theatrically in select international markets. It is the second major studio release to pivot, following the announcement that Mulan would hit Disney+ first in the U.S.
“While the theatrical experience will always be the heart of our business, we are thrilled that we are able to seize the opportunity to match Gerard and Chris’s urgent and immediate film with a release strategy befitting this moment of extraordinary change,” said Joe Drake, Chairman, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group. “Gerard and Chris are storytellers whose work beats with authenticity – not only will this film entertain and thrill audiences worldwide, but spark a discussion about our current world.”
Writer-directors Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz added, “While we designed Antebellum to be consumed as a communal experience in the theater, we are thrilled by the unique opportunity we have to pivot to a different kind of communal moment in our culture. As we face the realities of systemic racism in our country, which have crescendoed to this current inflection point in 2020, we understand how imperative it is to bring Antebellum to the broadest audience possible, while also prioritizing health and safety. It is our ardent hope that by sharing our film widely, both nationally and internationally, we will transform the moviegoing experience from home into a true event.”
The film’s official description: In Antebellum, successful author Veronica Henley (Janelle Monáe) finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality that forces her to confront the past, present and future – before it’s too late.
It will be released on Sept. 18