Netflix Is Acquiring More Films In Light Of Coronavirus; Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani’s ‘Lovebirds’ Is Latest

Netflix is racking up on films that will be added to the streaming service. Studios are partnering with Netflix after theatres across the nation have shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. The latest film to be added is the comedy-action flick starring Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani, Lovebirds. 

Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani
Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani via Twitter

‘Lovebirds’ to be released on Netflix

Lovebirds is a comedy film surrounding the romance of a Black woman and Middle Eastern man who find themselves in the middle of a murder mystery. Rae told Entertainment Weekly that she was excited to participate in the film and represent multiculturalism.

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“Initially they were written for white people which, plot-wise, would have been a different story. It’s not a story about race but we wanted to acknowledge our race and the fact that we’re an interracial couple.”

Rae spoke further on the importance of representation in her interview with Variety.

“Every time there’s an interracial romance, it feels like it centers on whiteness, and it doesn’t have to,” she said. “Just so you know, there are people who don’t procreate with just white people.”

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The film was slated for an April 3 release but was postponed due to theaters shutting down because to help slow down the spread of coronavirus. Deadline broke the news that the film will be released on Netflix.

The streaming release date has not yet been released but it’s said to be available across global markets. 

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The film was set to premiere at SXSW in Austin, Texas before a nationwide release but the festival was canceled on Mar. 6. Prior to the festival’s cancelation, the cast, and director of Lovebirds decided not to attend out of safety concerns according to an exclusive report from Variety. 

This would not be the first time that a major film studio has done streaming deals with Netflix. Paramount, the studio behind Lovebirds, had Netflix partnerships for The Cloverfield Paradox in 2018. Netflix also handled Paramount’s international release of Annihilation and Isn’t It Romantic.

Are there any other films to be released on streaming services in light of coronavirus?

There are now a number of theatrical releases that will not be available on streaming platforms. Some films were already released prior to the theatre shut down and others were set to be released at later dates. Films that will now be available for home viewership include Sonic the Hedgehog, The Invisible Man, Onward, I Still Believe, Bloodshot, The Hunt, Emma, Birds of Prey and The Way Back.

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Deadline reported that film studios believe home releases are an opportunity for potent revenue and the quickest way to make money in the current climate. It will be viewed as an experiment of sorts and could potentially change the trajectory of theatrical releases moving forward.

Prior to the coronavirus issue, films were already available for purchase on services like On-Demand weeks after a theater release. Studios will continue to utilize such services as the situation is monitored.