Michael Bay’s pandemic thriller Songbird is skipping theaters and will be heading straight for on-demand release this December.
STXFilms has confirmed that the film will head to a major streaming service in 2021 following the video-on-demand run, but the studio has not revealed which streamer it will land on yet.
The controversial sci-fi thriller featuring Riverdale star KJ Apa and Descendants' Sofia Carson was filmed entirely during the middle of the pandemic. Songbird was filmed for 17 days in locked-down Los Angeles with a small crew under strict safety measures. It is the first feature film to be made during COVID-19 and is about the pandemic itself, envisioning a dystopian future four years into the quarantine when the virus has mutated.
The official synopsis reads:
"In the terrifying thriller SONGBIRD, the COVID-23 virus has mutated and the world is in its fourth year of lockdown. Infected Americans are ripped from their homes and forced into quarantine camps known as Q-Zones, from which there is no escape, as a few brave souls fight back against the forces of oppression. Amid this dystopian landscape, a fearless courier, Nico (KJ Apa), who’s immune to the deadly pathogen, finds hope and love with Sara (Sofia Carson), though her lockdown prohibits them from physical contact. When Sara is believed to have become infected, Nico races desperately across the barren streets of Los Angeles in search of the only thing that can save her from imprisonment ... or worse.”
Songbird was directed by Adam Mason from a script he co-wrote with Simon Boyes and is produced by Armageddon director Michael Bay, who has also produced post-apocalyptic and dystopian thrillers such as The Purge and A Quiet Place.
Songbird also stars Bradley Whitford (The West Wing) and Demi Moore (Ghost) as a wealthy couple who may hold the key to Nico’s mission; Alexandra Daddario (Percy Jackson film series) as a singer enmeshed in a messy and forbidden affair; Paul Walter Hauser (Richard Jewell) as a disabled veteran whose best friend – a drone named Max – is his eyes and ears to a world that has left him behind; Craig Robinson (Brooklyn Nine-Nine's 'Pontiac Bandit') as Nico’s boss; and Peter Stormare (Fargo, Prison Break) as the corrupt head of the city’s “sanitation” department, which seizes those infected and transports them to the Q-Zone.
The film has met immense backlash on social media following the release of the trailer on Oct. 29, with many Twitter users slamming a film about a deadly pandemic as "tone deaf", "insensitive", and an attempt to "cash in on human suffering" at a time when the world is still reeling from the ongoing pandemic.
Take a look at the trailer below and judge for yourself whether this viral take on Romeo and Juliet is in poor taste given the current situation.
Songbird will be available to rent on premium video on demand starting Friday, Dec. 11, and will cost $19.99 for a 48-hour period. It will premiere on a major streaming service in 2021.
(Images via STXFilms)