By MICHAEL GINGOLD
One of the year’s most anticipated genre films will now be premiering as an at-home attraction.
Lionsgate has announced that ANTEBELLUM, the horror-thriller that deals with very timely socioracial themes and was last set to hit North American theaters August 21, will now premiere as a Premium On-Demand title on all platforms September 18. (It will play theatrically in certain international markets.) Writer/directors Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz’s film, starring Janelle Monáe as a contemporary writer who finds herself a slave on an Old South plantation, is very much a movie of the moment, and this strategy will allow it to reach the widest audience possible under current pandemic restrictions.
“While the theatrical experience will always be the heart of our business,” says Lionsgate chairman Joe Drake, “we are thrilled that we are able to seize the opportunity to match Gerard and Chris’ urgent and immediate film with a release strategy befitting this moment of extraordinary change. 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.”
Bush and Renz have stated, “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 also stars Marque Richardson, Eric Lange, Kiersey Clemons, Jack Huston, Tongayi Chirisa and Gabourey Sidibe. The duo discuss ANTEBELLUM here, and in the forthcoming issue #196 of RUE MORGUE magazine. See a new teaser below.