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Jeff Nichols’ The Bikeriders Is Looking for a New Studio After Being Dropped by Disney

Here we go again. Jeff Nichols’ upcoming crime drama The Bikeriders, starring Austin Butler and Tom Hardy, is now being shopped to other studios and streamers after the movie was let loose by New Regency and Disney.

Deadline confirmed the news after chatter online started to surface regarding the move. New Regency was in partnership with 20th Century Studios and Disney, which were originally set to release the movie — but considering the subject matter, it’s an interesting one for Disney to have hung their hat on regardless. Outside of its “flagship” brands Pixar, Lucasfilms, and Marvel, more adult-centric films are usually snatched up by the likes of Warner Bros., A24, Neon, and Universal.

The Bikeriders was moved from its Dec. 1 release date last month, after which AMC snagged the attractive date for its second concert film Renaissance: A Film by Beyonce. No surprises there, considering how well Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour concert film did at the box office — but certainly a major loss for a film that seemed to be a shoe-in for awards season.

The picture made its world premiere at Telluride and has played several major festivals thus far in the circuit, garnering mostly critical praise. The Bikeriders is inspired by Danny Lyon’s book of photography and stars Butler, Hardy, Jodie Comer, Michael Shannon, Boyd Holbrook, Paul Sparks, Norman Reedus, Mike Faist, Emory Cohen, Damon Herriman, Beau Knapp, and Karl Glusman. Director Nichols also penned the script.

According to 20th Century Studios, the film is “a furious drama following the rise of a fictional 1960s Midwestern motorcycle club through the lives of its members.” The studio’s website also still lists the movie as premiering on Dec. 1. The official synopsis reads:

“Kathy (Comer), a strong-willed member of the Vandals who’s married to a wild, reckless bikerider named Benny (Butler), recounts the Vandals’ evolution over the course of a decade, beginning as a local club of outsiders united by good times, rumbling bikes, and respect for their strong, steady leader Johnny (Hardy). Over the years, Kathy tries her best to navigate her husband’s untamed nature and his allegiance to Johnny, with whom she feels she must compete for Benny’s attention. As life in the Vandals gets more dangerous, and the club threatens to become a more sinister gang, Kathy, Benny and Johnny are forced to make choices about their loyalty to the club and to each other.”

Out of this year’s London Film Festival, Hannah Strong wrote of the film in her review for IGN, “An affectionate take on a much-romanticized subculture, The Bikeriders purrs along rather than zips, but its stellar cast ensures a smooth ride as Jeff Nichols offers some insights into the highs and lows of a legendary motorcycle gang.”

Unfortunately, studios ditching completed films is something that has become more and more common. Let’s hope The Bikeriders is the last capitalist casualty in the industry for a long while — hope being the key word.

Lex Briscuso is a film and television critic and a freelance entertainment writer for IGN. You can follow her on Twitter at @nikonamerica.

Author: Lex Briscuso. [Source Link (*), IGN All]

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