Next month, Disney’s 20th Century Studios had planned on releasing a brand new movie, “The Bikeriders”; however, due to the actor’s strike, and following the huge success of the “Taylor Swift” eras concert film, when Beyoncé announced her “Renaissance” concert film was going to be released on December 1st, Disney decided to remove the film from its release schedule and delay the release of “The Bikeriders”.
“The Bikeriders” has an all-star cast including Jodie Comer, Austin Butler, Tom Hardy, Michael Shannon, Mike Faist, Boyd Holbrook, and Norman Reedus, but since the studio couldn’t use any of the actors to promote the film and being unable to afford to have another box office flop like “The Creator”.
Unlike other delayed films like, “Snow White”, “Poor Things”, or “Elio”, no new release date was revealed and now, according to Jeff Sneider, Disney is reportedly no longer distributing the film, and the film’s financial partner, New Regency, is now shopping the project around to find a new home, which could include a rival streaming service.
From writer-director Jeff Nichols (“Loving,” “Midnight Special,” “Mud”), “The Bikeriders” is a furious drama following the rise of a fictional 1960s Midwestern motorcycle club through the lives of its members. Inspired by Danny Lyon’s iconic book of photography, “The Bikeriders” immerses you in the look, feel, and sounds of the bare-knuckled, grease-covered subculture of ’60s motorcycle riders. Kathy, a strong-willed member of the Vandals who’s married to a wild, reckless bikerider named Benny, 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. 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.
Over the past few months, the film has been previewed at many film festivals and has gotten plenty of good reviews from critics. The film is considered to be more of a mainstream film than an award-winning title. However, it’s now unlikely to be released this year and won’t be eligible to be nominated for any awards this year.
It’s worth noting that Disney acquired a 20% stake in New Regency following its purchase of 20th Century Fox and is behind many well-known 20th Century Studios titles, including the recent releases, “The Creator”, “Amsterdam”, and “Barbarian”, along with major hits like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and the “Alvin and the Chipmunks” movies.
Shortly after the failure of “The Creator” at the box office, pulling in just over $100 million globally, New Regency Productions President, Michael Schaefer, left the company after seven years to explore new opportunities as a producer across film and television.
This isn’t the first time that Disney has decided to do this with a New Regency title, as it has previously sold “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” and “Deep Water” to other platforms.
There could be any number of reasons why Disney has decided not to continue distributing the film. Maybe they feel it’s not going to perform well at the box office and have cut their losses. Spending millions of dollars on promoting a film they know isn’t going to perform, especially with so few titles going on to be successful in cinemas at the moment. Disney CEO Bob Iger has also discussed re-releasing fewer titles, to focus on a more curated lineup.
Unfortunately, if it’s true that Disney’s 20th Century Studios isn’t releasing “The Bikeriders”, it’s a shame that it will be unlikely to be released on Hulu and Disney+ in the future.
Do you think it’s a mistake for Disney not to release “The Bikeriders”? Let us know on social media!
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.