If the world hadn’t been thrown into disarray last year by the COVID-19 pandemic, the A24 film The Green Knight, starring Slumdog Millionaire and Lion’s Dev Patel, would have been released in theaters on May 29, 2020. Instead, like so many other movies, The Green Knight was pulled from the schedule, but after over a year of waiting, it’s finally set to come out this Friday, July 30 in the United States. But bad news, people in the United Kingdom: the plan for The Green Knight to come out on August 6 has been scrapped.
As reported by Deadline, The Green Knight has been removed from its UK theatrical slot by Entertainment Film Distributors in response to the country’s current coronavirus problems. Although the UK lifted most of its COVID-related restrictions on July 19, this coincided with a surge of delta variant cases, promoting worries of the country going into another lockdown. That being said, movie theaters in the UK remain open, according to the BBC, the number of new coronavirus infections has been declining over the last week. Still, evidently the EFD felt it was best to play things safe given how precarious are right now, as it doesn’t want The Green Knight’s theatrical performance to be majorly disrupted.
As of this writing, it hasn’t been announced yet what The Green Knight’s new UK release date will be, so it’s hard to say whether it will be delayed simply by a few weeks or if UK moviegoers might have to wait until towards the end of the year to see it. But at least The Green Knight is a long-completed product, whereas there have been many UK movies and TV shows in the midst of production that have been forced stop rolling cameras due to coronavirus concerns. These include the Game of Thrones prequel House of Dragons, Bridgerton Season 2 and Netflix’s Matilda musical.
Based on the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Green Knight sees Dev Patel playing Sir Gawain, King Arthur’s nephew and a Knight of the Round Table. Gawain embarks on a quest to confront the movie’s eponymous, monstrous character, played by Game of Thrones’ Ralph Ineson. The cast also includes Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Sarita Choudhury, Sean Harris, Kate Dickie, Barry Keoghan and Erin Kellyman. Behind the scenes, David Lowery of Pete’s Dragon and The Old Man & the Gun fame directed the movie, wrote the script and edited it.
Given how much critical praise has been directed at The Green Knight over the last week (not to mention the thirsting over Dev Patel in his latest role), I can imagine there are plenty of UK moviegoers who are disappointed that they’ll have to wait even longer for its release. But as noted earlier, for now, UK theaters haven’t shut down, and the next major motion picture to arrive over there is James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. It comes out in the UK this Friday, whereas US audiences have to wait until August 5 for its arrival on both the big screen and HBO Max. So in this instance, people stateside are the ones feeling left out, albeit temporarily.