The Green Knight, the medieval Arthurian tale coming from A24, has been pulled from its theatrical release in the U.K., just 2 weeks before it was slated to debut. The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that the film will not premiere on August 6 in the U.K., "with no new date given and cinemas advised to withdraw all trailers and posters until further notice." Entertainment Film Distributors have been handling the release of the film in the U.K., which has already been "amassing hugely positive responses from early review screenings."
There has been no confirmed reason for The Green Knight being pulled, however, it could be due to the Delta Variant of COVID-19 that has been emerging in the U.K. The U.K. is currently experiencing a surge in cases due to the spread of the new variant, with a fear that this may lead to another lockdown if it begins to spiral out of control. According to The Hollywood Reporter, one source suggested a "streamer had dangled a deal that they couldn't resist."
This isn't the first time COVID-19 has affected the release date of The Green Knight. Initially, the film was scheduled for release in Spring 2020, but was postponed when the pandemic began.
The Green Knight comes from writer-director David Lowery and stars Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Sarita Choudhury, Katie Dickie, Sean Harris, and Ralph Ineson. The story centers around Sir Gawain, King Arthur's nephew, who embarks on a quest to confront the green knight, a large tree-like creature. The story comes from a 14th century novel written by Gawain Poet.
There are some other films facing schedule changes as well. The Duke, a British comedy-drama from Roger Michell starring Jim Broadbent, Helen Mirren, and Fionn Whitehead has been shifted from its Sept. 3 release date to Spring 2022. The Duke is being distributed by Warner Bros. who made the decision to delay it.
While there is no confirmed release date for The Green Knight in the U.K., however, it has not been moved from its July 30 release date in the U.S. Early trailers from the film have shown how epic this movie will feel with grand dialogue and beautiful cinematography.
Many films have been shifting around their dates as studios continue to navigate the pandemic-era environment. Last month, Warner Bros. shifted Denis Villeneuve's Dune from Sept. 17 to Oct. 22. This may not be due to pandemic concerns as the studio may want to give Dune some breathing space as the next James Bond film No Time To Die will premiere on Sept. 30 (Oct. 8 in the U.S. However, Dune will still be debuting in theaters and on HBO Max, despite rumors that Dune may move exclusively to theaters due to disagreements between Villeneuve and Warner Bros.
Studios continue to experiment with their distribution methods as many theaters and countries begin to reopen in hopes of getting back to normal. The Green Knight is still coming to theaters in the U.S., but the U.K. may have to wait a little bit longer before getting the chance to see it. This news comes from The Hollywood Reporter.