Paramount Pictures recently shelved the theatrical releases for “A Quiet Place ll,” “Blue Story” and “The Lovebirds” due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Deadline is reporting that the latter title will now be heading to Netflix, with their exclusive stating “the deal is being papered at the moment.”
The film was initially due for theatrical release March 20, before the threatening effects of the novel coronavirus began taking its toll in the entertainment industry. Even before that, the official world premiere of the comedy was headed for South By Southwest Film Festival prior to its cancellation.
“The Lovebirds” is directed by Michael Showalter and stars Issa Rae (“Insecure”) and Kumail Nanjiani (“The Big Sick,” Marvel’s “Eternals”) in a romantic comedy. It follows the two leads as a couple on a first date which quickly stirs itself into an ongoing murder investigation. The script is written by both Aaron Abrams and Brendan Gall, with a story by Martin Gero.
Nanjiani reteams with Showalter, who directed him in Amazon’s 2017 feature, “The Big Sick,” for which he shares an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay with Emily V. Gordon. A two-time Golden Globe nominee, Issa Rae also starred in Stella Meghie’s February release, “The Photograph,”with LaKeith Stanfield. Rae and Nanjiani also executive produce “The Lovebirds.”
Netflix, the streaming giant that it is, today made a $100 million relief fund to go toward those who work on a project to project basis. It is also reported that $15 million of the fund will be going toward the pandemic emergency relief organizations that directly help out-of-work production employees.
“This community has supported Netflix through the good times, and we want to help them through these hard times, especially while governments are still figuring out what economic support they will provide. So we’ve created a $100 million fund to help with hardship in the creative community,” said Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos.
The switch for “The Lovebirds” is not an unlikely move from Paramount, considering the recent stock studios now have to capitalize on the ease of streaming for many viewers amid the pandemic. Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” is seeing an early release date onto digital this week, while it will be available on Disney+ streaming April 3.
A streaming release date for “The Lovebirds” on Netflix is expected soon.