Just two weeks before the film was scheduled to open in United Kingdom theaters on August 6, “The Green Knight” has been pulled from U.K. release. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Entertainment Film Distributors, which is handling the U.K. rollout, has provided no new release date and has asked exhibitors to pull all trailers and promotional materials.
The film is set to be released in the United States on July 30 by A24, which has not announced any change in release plans. (IndieWire reached out to representatives at A24 and Entertainment Film Distributors for comment.) The news arrives as the country sees a spike in Covid-19 infections, specifically due to the global rise of the Delta variant.
On July 19, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced “Freedom Day” with a fully reopened England and movie theaters operating at capacity. However, Johnson himself is currently in isolation and U.K. Covid numbers are on the rise, with 39,906 new cases reported July 22. The U.K. has seen more than 325,000 cases in the last week, up from the previous week by 24%. Nearly 88 percent of the U.K. adult population has had one dose of a vaccine, with nearly 70 percent having completed both doses.
“The Green Knight,” a twist on the Arthurian legend starring Dev Patel as Sir Gawain and directed by David Lowery (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” “A Ghost Story”), has already been through several pandemic delays. It was originally set to world premiere at SXSW on March 16, 2020, before that festival was canceled. Its March 29, 2020 theatrical release was also subsequently canceled, giving Lowery more than a year to recut the movie.
“I just gave myself permission to dig back into the movie, unlock it, and rework the entire thing,” he told Vanity Fair. “I found the affection I needed to cut it with love in my heart instead of disappointment and hate. It’s different — it’s much better.”
This year, David Lowery also contributed to the Covid anthology film “The Year of the Everlasting Storm,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and will be released by Neon in 2021.
“The Green Knight” also stars Barry Koeghan, Alicia Vikander, Ralph Ineson, Joel Edgerton, and Kate Dickie.