It looks like Lionsgate’s Antebellum will be the latest feature film to forgo a traditional theatrical release due to the current coronavirus pandemic.
According to Deadline, Lionsgate has made the decision to release their forthcoming horror thriller, Antebellum, on premium on-demand platforms beginning in September.
The highly anticipated horror film was originally set to be released earlier on this year on April 24. Like many films set to hit the big screen in 2020, however, the film found its release date pushed back following the closure of movie theaters due to the current coronavirus pandemic.
The last we had heard, the plan was for Lionsgate to release the film in theaters on August 21. Now, with many states— including California and New York— mandating that movie theaters remain closed in an effort to flatten the curve, the studio has opted instead to move forward with a PVOD release for the horror flick.
Though the studio has no plans to release Antebellum in theaters in the United States, overseas movie goers might still be able to catch the flick in theaters. Per Deadline’s report, the studio plans to move forward with a theatrical release for the film in ‘select offshore markets.”
Starring Janelle Monae and directed and written by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, Antebellum focuses on Veronica Henley (Monae)— a successful author who suddenly finds herself trapped in a hellish alternate reality during the Underground Railroad.
In a statement announcing the decision, the filmmakers said that while they had been hoping for the film to be a theatrical experience, releasing the horror thriller on PVOD will allow for the movie to reach the widest audience possible.
““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,” said Bush and Renz.
“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.”
Antebellum will be available on premium on-demand platforms beginning September 18.