Netflix has reportedly picked up the international streaming rights to the twice-delayed latest SpongeBob film, which was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The film, Sponge on the Run, will reportedly be among a growing number of films that forego a theatrical release, opting to debut via digital distribution as a paid VOD title, according to Variety.
The film, directed by Tim Hill, was due to premiere in August of this year, but insiders now believe that date will be in early 2021 instead, before airing on CBS All Access for US viewers.
The star-studded CGI film boasts a voice cast featuring the likes of Tom Kenny, Keanu Reeves, Awkwafina, Reggie Watts, and Snoop Dogg.
According to the synopsis, the latest film instalment of the SpongeBob franchise follows the legendary sponge and his best friend Patrick Star. The intrepid pair must rescue Gary, who has been – ahem – “snail napped” by the god of the sea, Poseidon.
SpongeBob and his starfish buddy must travel to the Lost City of Atlantic City – and along the way reveal how our hero first became acquainted with Gary the Snail.
The beloved children’s character first debuted on Nickelodeon, and the last movie instalment brought in over $350 million worldwide.
SpongeBob: Sponge on the Run isn’t the first film to face delays due to the pandemic and lockdown. Film studios across the globe have struggled to navigate the cinema closures and necessary delays to production, with the likes of Disney’s live action adaptation Mulan, Bond film No Time To Die, Tenet, and the Mission: Impossible 7 all pushing back their release dates.
Cinemas across the country are reopening this month, with social distancing measures, but many film distributors are opting to release their films digitally instead, with the likes of Artemis Fowl, Scoob! and Hamilton all landing on paid-for streaming sites.
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