The Lovebirds was one of many upcoming films delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus. But rather than sitting around and twiddling their thumbs waiting for restrictions to be lifted, Paramount have decided on a different tactic. Netflix is reportedly nearing a deal with the studio to acquire the film.
The romantic comedy set to star Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae was originally set for an early April cinema release, but Paramount have decided to sell the film off. This isn’t totally surprising considering that Paramount and Netflix have done similar business before. The streaming giant previously acquired both The Cloverfield Paradox and Eli from the studio, as well as the rights to Beverly Hills Cop 4.
Some reports suggest that the coronavirus actually has little to do with this decision, and that talks between both parties have been going on for a while. Again, considering their past deals, that makes sense. Plus, romcoms haven’t fared too well in cinemas in recent years, so if Paramount thought The Lovebirds wasn’t going to make them money, their best bet was to sell it off.
The Lovebirds on Netflix makes a lot more sense. The streaming platform has been the place where new romantic comedies have found success, such as Set It Up and Always Be My Maybe. The Lovebirds feels like a better fit on there. It’s unclear right now when Netflix will make it available, but expect it to be in the next couple of weeks.
What’s the film about? Nanjiani and Rae star as a couple who experience a defining moment in their relationship when they are unintentionally embroiled in a murder mystery. Michael Showalter, who previously directed Nanjiani in the acclaimed The Big Sick, is behind the camera.
For smaller films like The Lovebirds, this will probably be the reality for the rest of the year. Studios can afford to sell them to streaming companies or release them on demand and not risk losing too much money. That isn’t the case with major blockbusters, so the status of films such as Wonder Woman 1984 and Eternals remains up in the air.