Bios, a new sci-fi film from director Miguel Sapochnik that stars Tom Hanks as a guy who builds a robot to watch over his dog (yes, really) is moving from April to August. The Universal Amblin Entertainment title was supposed to arrive in theaters on April 16 but will now arrive in August. The release date change is just the latest example of Hollywood studios trying to figure out when and where to release their new movies as the coronavirus pandemic continues to interfere with the traditional theatrical model.
In case you haven’t noticed, we’re now in 2021. And while a lot has changed (especially in the last few days), a lot has stayed the same. For instance: the coronavirus continues to be a major problem, and the rollout of the vaccine has been less-than-ideal. While things will hopefully get better in the weeks and months to come. There’s still no definitive answer as to when things will get back to normal. And that includes movie releases. While some studios are embracing streaming for the time being, others are holding onto the time-honored theatrical release plan. Which means that those studios have to continually deal with when to release their upcoming titles.
Plenty of stuff from 2020 got delayed, and now everyone has to contend with new release dates for delayed titles as well as new dates for stuff that was already planned for 2021. The latest is Bios, a film from Amblin and Universal that was set to open on April 16, 2021. April is still a few months off, but the studio has already gone ahead and pushed the release date back – to August 13, 2021.
I don’t want to get too pessimistic here. But it genuinely feels like movie studios learned absolutely nothing from last year. At the beginning of 2020, when COVID-19 was rearing its ugly head, studios started pushing everything into the summer, believing that we’d all have our shit together by then. Of course, that didn’t happen, and all the summer titles got shifted either to winter or into 2021. Now, here we are again, at the beginning of the year. With studios deciding to move things into the summer just to be safe. All of this hinges on the idea that movie theaters will be back to normal come summer 2021. And at the rate things are going, I have a hard time believing that’ll be the case.
As for Bios, it follows “Finch, the last man on Earth. An ailing inventor facing his own mortality, Finch builds a robot to keep his beloved dog safe. As the trio embarks upon an epic cross-country journey, the scientist must teach his creation to become ‘human’ enough to take care of its charge, and the beloved pet to accept a new master.” Tom Hanks is playing Finch while Caleb Landry Jones plays the robot, and I swear to gosh. If something bad happens to that dog I’m going to be pissed. Otherwise, this movie sounds delightful, and I look forward to seeing it.