Earlier this week, it was revealed that Disney’s 20th Century Studios would no longer be distributing “The Bikeriders” after pulling it from their release schedule, where it was originally due to be released in cinemas on December 1st 2023.
New Regency decided to delay the release of the film because at the time of the decision, the actors were still on strike at the time, they wanted the cast, which includes Austin Butler, Jodie Comer and Tom Hardy, to promote the film. It’s also likely the movie was held back following the announcement that Beyoncé was going to be releasing her “Renaissance” concert film on the same day.
It’s been announced that Universal Studios Focus Features has acquired the global rights to the movie, with Universal Studios distributing the film internationally. The film will still be released in cinemas first. Universal Studios has previously worked with New Regency on the release of “The Northman”.
The film 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,“TheBikeriders” immerses you in the look, feel, and sounds of the bare-knuckled, grease-covered subculture of ’60s motorcycle riders. Kathy (Comer), a strong-willed member of the Vandals who’s married to a wild, reckless bikerider named Benny (Butler), 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 (Hardy).
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.
“TheBikeriders,” written and directed by Jeff Nichols. The film is produced by Sarah Green, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, and Arnon Milchan Yariv Milchan, Michael Schaefer, Sam Hanson, David Kern and Fred Berger are the executive producers on the film.
Focus Features Chairman Peter Kujawski said in a statement:
“We are delighted to add such a riveting project to next year’s strong slate of films. We look forward to once again working alongside New Regency and reuniting with the multi-talented Jeff Nichols on another one of his visionary projects. This film exemplifies our commitment to collaborate with the industry’s best filmmakers and production partners, and we can’t wait to build upon its early success to draw audiences into this poignant film bolstered by powerful performances from an incredible cast.”
Yariv Milchan, Chairman and CEO of New Regency added:
“We are excited to team up again with our Focus Features partners and look forward to another successful collaboration. And we couldn’t be prouder of The Bikeriders, Jeff Nichols and all the talent he has brought together to create this truly exceptional film.”
With Disney no longer involved in the project, it is a shame, since the film has been getting good reviews from its early screenings on the film festival circuit, but with the failure of “The Creator” at the box office, New Regency (which Disney does own 20% of), it is likely trying to recoup as much of the investment in the film it can. It’s rare a film so close to being released is sold on and hopefully one day, we will find out the decision behind the change.
What do you think of 20th Century Studios not releasing “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.