Solstice Studios has set an ambitious theater release date of July 1st for their upcoming Russell Crowe thriller, Unhinged, in what will likely be the first major film released in the wake of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
According to Deadline, producers initially intended to release the film in September but have decided to move the date up as a result of the nationwide closure of movie theaters.
“When we green lit this film, I probably figured that July 4th weekend and Christmas would be the two least likely slots,” Solstice CEO Mark Gill told the entertainment outlet. “We were sitting on September 4 and then COVID-19 happened, and A Quiet Place 2 moved out of its original slot and landed on our date.”
“When you are in a speedboat and a giant ship is coming at you, you better move out of the way,” he continued. “We looked at the rest of the year, fall/winter and spring 2021. The release schedule was already crowded, and when you add all the films that have been delayed, it made it [sic] think that maybe we go sooner.”
The film’s description reads as follows:
Academy Award-winner Russell Crowe stars in Unhinged, a psychological thriller that takes something we’ve all experienced–road rage–to an unpredictable and terrifying conclusion. Rachel (Caren Pistorius) is running late getting to work when she crosses paths with a stranger (Crowe) at a traffic light. Soon, Rachel finds herself and everyone she loves the target of a man who feels invisible and is looking to make one last mark upon the world by teaching her a series of deadly lessons. What follows is a dangerous game of cat and mouse that proves you never know who you’re driving next to.
The thriller will likely serve as a test of the appetite of Americans to return to movie theaters, with many faced to way the risk of contagion due to the proximity of seating. The production company recently took a survey of 1000 people which found that the majority would be happy to watch a film at the theatre. AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas, the two largest theater chains in the United States, are still closed.
However, Gill insisted that they will not go through with “anything that isn’t safe and expert-guided.”
“The first call was to John Fithian at NATO, whose organization is in touch with state public services departments, and if they had said you can’t open theaters, we would have said forget it,” he insisted.
The film’s release is likely to coincide with the reopening of theaters worldwide, as many countries attempt to return to some level of normality following months of lockdown. The governments of Australia, China, The Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Taiwan have all announced plans in the near future.