Run was the latest film from Lionsgate to forego a theatrical release and head to digital. The horror Antebellum also skipped the big screen stateside dropped on PVOD. Hulu acquired domestic rights to Run from Lionsgate in what was reported to be a competitive situation. However, Run, like Antebellum is expected to be released theatrically overseas. The movie was originally set to have a May 8 (which was appropriate considering it was Mother’s Day) theatrical release but due to a little global pandemic, it, like other films pivoted to other release strategies due to the shut down the big theater chains in mid-March.
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“Thanksgiving week is a wickedly fitting time to release the film, and we’re grateful to Hulu for trusting us to headline the holidays for them,” Chaganty told Deadline. “As the pandemic stretches on and mass communal activity shows no sign of returning to normal for at least another year, the merits of waiting for a theatrical release diminish – for most movies, but especially for a film as nimble as ours.”
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Directed by Chaganty who co-wrote it with Sev Ohanian, Run follows a wheelchair-using, homeschooled teenager Chloe (Allen) who has been raised in isolation by her controlling mother Diane (Paulson). As the story unfolds, Chloe begins to uncover bits and pieces of a secret that leads her to believe that her mother is holding a bigger and darker secret from her. Ohanian produced the film along with Natalie Qasabian.
The film moves the needle in terms of representation by casting Allen a wheelchair-using actress. Based on the history of Hollywood, a film like this would use an able-bodied actress in the role of Chloe. As Hollywood attempts to increase its efforts in the diversity and inclusion space, Run gives the film more authenticity by casting Allen. This is a big deal considering the authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and TV is slim to none.
“I was told recently that this is the first thriller to star an actual wheelchair user since the 1940s,” said Chaganty. “That statistic is insane, and pretty much answers the question of ‘Why was it so important to cast with authenticity?’ for itself.”
Run is a follow up to Chaganty’s debut directorial feature Searching which was released in 2018 via Sony. Co-writen by Chaganty and Ohanian, the film starred John Cho as a father searching (hence the title) for his missing 16-year-old daughter. The thriller pushed the boundaries in filmmaking as it was told entirely through mobile devices and computer screens. One can say it was ahead of its time considering the Zoom era we are living in. The film grossed over $75 million worldwide. Searching was released the same year as Crazy Rich Asians, bolstering the representation of Asians in front of and behind the camera. With its inclusive story and casting, Chaganty is doing the same with Run and the disabled community.
Watch the release announcement for Run above.
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