With Disney releasing several high-profile movies straight to streaming, skipping theaters entirely, it looks like Warner Bros. is considering following suit. Amid the ongoing global situation and theater closures, Warner Bros. is reportedly discussing moving multiple movies to a HBO Max release including Judas and the Black Messiah starring Daniel Kaluuya & Lakeith Stanfield, Denzel Washington and Rami Malek's The Little Things, and the live action Tom and Jerry.
Much like the change of release to Warner Bros' comic book sequel Wonder Woman 1984, which will now be released theatrically on December 25, 2020, and digitally on HBO Max simultaneously, Tom & Jerry, The Little Things, and Judas and the Black Messiah would also be released both to streaming and in select theaters on the same date, reports claim.
The studio also considered doing the same with the upcoming Mortal Kombat reboot, but ultimately decided that the highly anticipated video game adaptation would stick with a theatrical release.
With the current circumstances showing no signs of slowing down, movie studios are having to find new ways to navigate their way through such unprecedented times. Warner Bros. decision to move Wonder Woman 1984 to streaming has so mostly been met with positivity and understanding by theaters, but they are far from the only studio to contemplate prioritizing streaming. Disney has so far moved several big released away from theaters and onto Disney+, including Mulan, Pixar's Soul and Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Artemis Fowl. Should the trend continue, the understanding from both audiences and theaters may wane over time.
As for the Warner Bros. movies in question being considered for an HBO Max streaming debut, Tom & Jerry reintroduces one of the most beloved rivalries in history, now reignited thanks to Jerry moving into New York City's finest hotel on the eve of "the wedding of the century". The arrival of Jerry forces the event's desperate planner to hire Tom to get rid of him, and the ensuing cat and mouse battle threatens to destroy her career, the wedding and possibly the hotel itself. But soon, an even bigger problem arises: a diabolically ambitious staffer conspiring against all three of them. Featuring a blend of animation and live action, Tom and Jerry's new big-screen adventure stakes new ground for the iconic characters and forces them to do the unthinkable... work together to save the day.
Directed by Fantastic Four's Tim Story and based on iconic characters created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, the movie stars a host of talented comedic actors such as Chloë Grace Moretz, Michael Peña, Rob Delaney, Colin Jost, and Ken Jeong. Tom & Jerry is currently set to be released on March 5, 2021.
The Little Things meanwhile follows Oscar winning actor and Hollywood icon Denzel Washington as Deke Craven, a burned-out deputy sheriff with an eye for detail who teams up with a Los Angeles detective to reel in a wily serial killer. Directed by Saving Mr. Banks and The Highwaymen's John Lee Hancock, the movie stars Rami Malek, Sofia Vassilieva, Terry Kinney, and Michael Hyatt alongside Washington with the likes of Jared Leto, Natalie Morales, Joris Jarsky, Isabel Arraiza, John Harlan Kim and Tom Hughes cast in undisclosed roles.
The Little Things is currently scheduled to be released on January 29, 2021.
Finally, Judas and the Black Messiah is an upcoming biographical drama that follows Fred Hampton and the Black Panther Party in the 1960s. Petty criminal William O'Neal is offered a plea deal by the FBI, to infiltrate the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party in order to take down Chairman Fred Hampton. Starring Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield, the movie already looks like an awards contender thanks in large part to what look to be two mercilessly intense performances at its center. Judas and the Black Messiah is directed by Shaka King and is currently scheduled for release in 2021. This news comes to us from Variety.