The story seems to send Monae’s character on a journey into the past, where she finds herself trapped in the American South of the slavery era. Lionsgate may have deduced that the film’s themes and imagery are too timely to wait out any more significant delays as well. The movie also stars Eric Lange, Jena Malone, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Gabourey Sidibe and others.
Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake said, “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 Drake. “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.”
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.”
The pair continued, “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.”
Although Antebellum has flown somewhat under the radar compared to bigger blockbusters like Tenet, Wonder Woman 1984, No Time to Die and Mulan, Lionsgate’s announcement regarding the film is hardly a surprise, given this week’s stunning decision by Disney to make Mulan available as a premium release on its own Disney+ streaming service and earlier PVOD releases by Universal for movies like The King of Staten Island.