The Janelle Monáe horror vehicle Antebellum is the latest Hollywood production to forego its planned theatrical release in favor of a premium video-on-demand in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lionsgate announced Thursday that the horror film, starring Monáe, will debut on PVOD on Sept. 18. In some select overseas markets, the pic will play in cinemas.

The film, which has seen its release date delayed twice due to the pandemic, is written and directed by first-time feature filmmakers Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz. Up to now, the duo had best been known for their advertising work in the fight for social justice.

In a statement above the move to PVOD, Bush and Renz said:

“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.”

In Antebellum, Monáe plays successful author Veronica Henley, a figure who finds herself seemingly trapped in the past and is forced to discover the truth behind her experience before it’s too late.

What do you make of this story? Are you surprised that Antebellum will be coming straight to PVOD? Or did you anticipate such a move after the film had already twice been delayed by the pandemic? Either way, is it something you plan on checking out? Jump down to the comments below and let me know your thoughts on the matter!


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