This just in. Paramount’s comedy The Lovebirds will still make its world premiere at SXSW on March 14 at the Paramount Theatre, but director Michael Showalter and stars Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae are pulling out due to coronavirus concerns. The pic opens April 3.
I understand that Paramount will be doing press for the movie in Los Angeles in lieu of Austin. All of that is still being worked out.
Nanjiani has been tweeting all week about his concerns over the coronavirus. “I live with an immunocompromised person so I need to be extra careful and avoid crowds right now. I need to do everything I can to protect those I love,” tweeted the comedian on Wednesday about his wife, Emily V. Gordon, and how he was pulling out of a Film Independent live stage script reading of The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Gordon and Nanjiani were Oscar nominated for their original screenplay The Big Sick which was about the beginning of their relationship, the culture clash of it all between families and her being beset with a mysterious illness. On Tuesday, Nanjiani, tweeted, “I don’t think people understand how big this Coronavirus thing is going to be.”
“It’s absurd we don’t have a massive number of test kits ready to go. We’ve known this thing was out there for weeks. Seems it’s extremely under diagnosed in the US right now.” he added.
“I’m truly not trying to panic anyone. I just have people I love who are in high risk groups and am frustrated at the lack of preparation, information and response. I guess what I’m saying is… wash your hands?”
Rae and Nanjiani play a couple in The Lovebirds who experience a defining moment in their relationship when they are suddenly embroiled in a murder mystery.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.