Daniel Radcliffe Movie ‘Guns Akimbo’ Is Still Coming Out Despite Director Controversy

The fate of Daniel Radcliffe’s new movie Guns Akimbo appeared to be in flux when it disappeared from release calendars. IMDB also removed the name of its U.S. distributor. These questions arose after the film’s director, Jason Lei Howden, launched attacks against writers on social media. 

Daniel Radcliffe | Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Now that distributor confirms it will still release Guns Akimbo as scheduled, although they condemned Howden’s behavior. Guns Akimbo remains scheduled for release Friday, Feb. 28.

Daniel Radcliffe in ‘Guns Akimbo’

Harry Potter fans watched Radcliffe grow up in the eight films based on J.K. Rowling’s seven books, from 2001 to 2011. The young wizard grew into adulthood over 10 years, and Radcliffe has shown he’s not a kid anymore in his subsequent roles. He’s done comedy in the TV series Miracle Workers or the films Trainwreck and Swiss Army Man. He played historical figures like Allen Ginsberg in Kill Your Darlings and dark drama like Imperium.

Daniel Radcliffe in Guns Akimbo
Daniel Radcliffe | Saban Films

Guns Akimbo will be Radcliffe’s first foray into extreme action. Radcliffe plays Miles, who finds himself unwittingly enlisted in a violent game when an underground hunt bolts guns to his hands. Miles runs around unable to turn to police for help, since he’s holding firearms, while dodging gunmen and gunwomen as he tries to rescue his girlfriend. 

Daniel Radcliffe’s ‘Guns Akimbo’ director threatened the film’s release

Showbiz Cheat Sheet documented the timeline of Howden’s attacks in an article on Sunday, Feb. 23. The incidents involved racial slurs and descriptions of a suicide attempt. 

The writing staff of Much Ado About Cinema, a site committed to representing the perspective of people of color in film, quit when a direct message of editor in chief Dilara Ebir using the N word surfaced. Ebir apologized and committed to re-earning the public’s trust in a message that no longer appears on her feed. Continued bullying led Ebir to attempt suicide. She is now recovering in the hospital.

Guns Akimbo writer/director Jason Lei Howden
Jason Lei Howden | Phillip Faraone/WireImage

Howden was not involved in the events surrounding Ebir, but he blamed the Much Ado About Cinema writers for bullying Ebir. Writers such as Valerie Complex and DarkSkyLady replied to Howden’s attacks, taking issue with Howden’s claims that Ebir’s racial slur was not serious.

Howden accused Complex and DarkSkyLady of attempted murder of Ebir, even though they were not involved in the incidents that led to her suicide attempt. Howden’s personal Twitter account deactivated but the Guns Akimbo movie account continued to tweet about the incident.

‘Guns Akimbo’ distributor responds to the controversy

Awards Watch founder Erik Anderson was the first to notice that Box Office Mojo had removed Guns Akimbo from its release calendar. IMDB also dropped Saban Films from the list of the film’s distributors. On Monday, Feb. 24, Saban provided a statement regarding the film’s release and behavior of Howden. 

“We are releasing Guns Akimbo this Friday, February 28th,” the statement reads. “While we do not condone, agree or share Mr. Howden’s online behavior, which is upsetting and disturbing, we are supportive of the film and all the hard work and dedication that has gone into making Guns Akimbo.

How to get help: In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor at the free Crisis Text Line.