In the wake of rising cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19, Paramount Pictures has pulled the “Clifford the Big Red Dog” film from its planned September 17th theatrical release.
The thinking reportedly is that families are feeling less likely to attend theaters, especially in larger markets like Los Angeles and New York City.
The movie is reportedly fully complete and has been tracking well with audiences ahead of release. The trailer racked up 130 million views in its first week.
The question has now been raised as to whether Paramount will wait to release the film at a later date (the most likely option), try for a PVOD release (ala “Trolls World Tour”) or follow the path of “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run” or “Infinite” and release directly on its Paramount+ service as an exclusive.
The movie was slated to debut at the Toronto International Film Festival as one of the Gala Presentations in September. However, as of now it’s not clear whether the movie will still be screening at the festival. The former landing page for the film on the TIFF official site is gone, redirecting users to the main programming line-up page.
Walt Becker helms the film which stars Darby Camp as Emily Elizabeth, a middle-schooler who meets a magical animal rescuer (John Cleese) who gifts her a little, red puppy that magically turns into a big, red dog overnight. While her single mom (Sienna Guillory) is away for business, Emily, Clifford and her fun but impulsive Uncle Casey (Jack Whitehall) set out on an adventure.