20th Century Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection
Focus Features has acquired world rights to Jeff Nichols’ “The Bikeriders,” ending a short period in which producer New Regency shopped the finished film to studios. The period drama, which premiered in Telluride this fall, was originally scheduled for a Dec. 1 release by 20th Century Studios, but was removed from Disney’s schedule last month.
Informed sources Variety that it was New Regency’s decision – not Disney’s – to seek a new distributor. The production company also opted to pull “The Bikeriders” from the Disney schedule due to its cast’s inability to promote the feature, which had a production budget of $40 million, during the labor strike. SAG-AFTRA.
“The Bikeriders” is now eyeing a 2024 release. Focus will handle distribution in North America, while Universal Pictures International will handle the global rollout.
“We are thrilled to add such an exciting project to next year’s strong slate of films,” Peter Kujawski, president of Focus Features, said in a statement. “We look forward to working alongside New Regency again and reuniting with the talented Jeff Nichols on another of his visionary projects.” This film exemplifies our commitment to collaborating with the industry’s best filmmakers and production partners, and we look forward to building on its early success to draw audiences into this poignant film supported by powerful performances from an incredible cast.
“We are thrilled to team up again with our partners Focus Features and look forward to another successful collaboration,” Yariv Milchan, chairman and CEO of New Regency, said in a statement. “And we couldn’t be more proud of ‘The Bikeriders,’ Jeff Nichols and all the talent he has brought together to create this truly exceptional film.”
Set in the ’60s, “The Bikeriders” stars Jodie Comer and Austin Butler as a married couple involved in a rowdy, greasy biker gang led by a hot-blooded leader (Tom Hardy).
The Jeff Nichols film received positive reviews at the Telluride Film Festival, with Variety Chief film critic Peter Debruge is one of the most enthusiastic supporters, writing that “it goes a long way to humanizing characters who have long been misrepresented in films, while giving audiences special access to that inner world.” .
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