An American Pickle, the Seth Rogen-starring comedy that moved from Sony Pictures to HBO Max, has lined up an August 6 release date on WarnerMedia’s streaming service. The pic, from Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Point Grey Pictures, will world premiere as the first HBO Max original film under the Warner Max movie label.
The premiere date came Wednesday as HBO Max unveiled a second wave of programming for the summer that will follow the initial titles available for the platform’s May 27 launch.
WarnerMedia acquired global rights to American Pickle on April 27 from Sony, which had planned a 2020 theatrical release for it before the coronavirus shutdown, after which the Culver City studio was forced to shift most of the pics on its feature slate to 2021. It was one of several midsize films sold off to streaming platforms amid the COVID-19 crisis that shuttered movie theaters, joining the likes of STX’s My Spy (to Amazon) and Paramount/MRC’s The Lovebirds (to Netflix).
Adapted by Simon Rich from his 2013 New Yorker novella Sell Out, An American Pickle stars Rogen as Herschel Greenbaum, a struggling laborer who immigrates to America in 1920 with dreams of building a better life for his beloved family. One day, while working at his factory job, he falls into a vat of pickles and is brined for 100 years. The brine preserves him perfectly and when he emerges in present day Brooklyn, he finds that he hasn’t aged a day. But when he seeks out his family, he is troubled to learn that his only surviving relative is his great-grandson Ben Greenbaum (also played by Rogen), a mild-mannered computer coder whom Herschel can’t even begin to understand.
Brandon Trost directed the pic, which was produced by Rogen, Goldberg and James Weaver. Rich executive produced alongside Point Grey’s Alex McAtee and Ted Gidlow.
Warner Bros and HBO Max took the wraps off Warner Max in February, launching the film label that is serving as the streaming service’s feature production arm. The joint venture is targeting releasing eight to 10 mid-budget movies per year, overseen by HBO Max’s chief content officer Kevin Reilly and Warner Bros Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich, who share greenlight power and will work in collaboration with Warner Bros Pictures Group COO Carolyn Blackwood and HBO Max Head of Original Content Sarah Aubrey.