Janelle Monáe’s upcoming film Antebellum is getting a digital release this September.
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Lionsgate, the company behind the film release, revealed that the upcoming horror movie will by-pass cinemas next month and head straight to digital release as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues.
Written and directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, Monáe portrays successful author Veronica Henley, who is kidnapped and forced to live out a horrifying reality in which she is an enslaved woman.
Monáe’s character is then faced with the task of breaking free by uncovering the mind-bending mystery of her situation.
Speaking about the digital release, Lionsgate 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’ 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.”
In a joint statement, Bush and Renz added: “While we designed Antebellum to be consumed as a communal experience in the theatre, 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 prioritising 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.”
Speaking of her leading role in the project, Monáe recently told the Huffington Post: “I know that it’s about to open up another dimension in my life as an artist and as an actor, and this is definitely one of my most layered and toughest roles to date.”
Also starring in the movie are Marque Richardson II, Eric Lange, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Tongayi Chirisa, Gabourey Sidibe, Rob Aramayo, Lily Cowles, and Jena Malone.