The much-anticipated (and much-delayed) horror film Antebellum has had a rocky road to release this year, and the biggest bump in the road came this weekend.
Lionsgate said the film–written and directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz in their feature film directorial debut–will not grace big screens in the U.S. after all, but will be released on digital platforms Sept. 18, as reported by Deadline. Theatrical releases of the movie for international audiences are still being planned.
Antebellum’s release has already been delayed twice due to the COVID-19 crisis, as reported here in Horror News Network, from its original due date of April 24 of this year to Aug. 21 to being pulled from the studio’s theatrical release schedule altogether. And now, the film will go direct to digital platforms.
The movie–produced by Sean McKittrick, Raymond Mansfield, Lezlie Willis and Zev Foreman, as well as Bush and Renz–tells the story of successful author Veronica Henley (Janelle Monae) as she travels back in time to the pre-Civil War South to meet up with her enslaved ancestors.
The cast also includes Marque Richardson II, Eric Lange, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Tongayi Chirisa, Gabourey Sidibe, Rob Aramayo, Lily Cowles and Jena Malone.
With safety practices in place that prevent many movie theaters across the country from reopening as hoped this summer, Lionsgate appears to be trying to strike a balance between practicality and health issues and a desire to get the film to audiences as soon as possible.
Joe Drake, chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said that while the theatrical experience will always be important to the studio, “we are thrilled that we are able to seize the opportunity to match Gerard’s and Christopher’s urgent and immediate film with a release strategy befitting this moment of extraordinary change.”
Drake added that the studio feels this movie “beats with authenticity. Not only with this film entertain and thrill audiences, but it will spark discussion about our current world.”
Bush and Renz, in a statement, said they 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.”
Keep reading Horror News Network for any future updates on Antebellum.