The upcoming comedy film The Lovebirds, starring Kumail Nanjiani (HBO’s Silicon Valley) and Issa Rae (Little), was set to be released via Paramount. A week ago, however, amidst the growing coronavirus pandemic, the studio pulled the film from its April 3 theatrical release. Now, Netflix has acquired the rights to The Lovebirds from Paramount and will start streaming the picture within the next few weeks.
The popular streaming service has seen its numbers spike ever since people started to quarantine themselves to their homes. The Lovebirds isn’t Paramount’s first movie to pull from its theatrical release; recently, the studio has pulled A Quiet Place II and Blue Story from releasing in theaters. Many other major studios are responding to coronavirus fears by sending recent releases to VOD and digital services weeks early, like Warner Bros.’ Just Mercy, Sony’s Bloodshot starring Vin Diesel, and STX’s The Gentlemen.
However, The Lovebirds is the first major studio movie pulled from a theatrical release to be placed at a non-studio streaming service like Netflix. This is no surprise, as Paramount and Netflix have had a long history of partnering together, with the latter previously releasing The Cloverfield Paradox and acquiring the rights to Beverly Hills Cop 4. This plan has been in the works for awhile, even confirming that the coronavirus pandemic had nothing to do with the Paramount-to-Netflix decision.
Directed by Michael Showalter, The Lovebirds centers around a couple (Nanjiani and Rae) on the brink of a breakup. The pair experience a life-altering moment in their relationship as they become entangled in a bizarre and hijinks-filled murder mystery. The film also co-stars Anna Camp, Paul Sparks and Kyle Bornheimer.