The Russell Crowe Thriller 'Unhinged' Really Wants To Be The First Major Movie In Theaters This August

Warner Bros., Disney, and every other major studio may be reluctant to be the first out the gate to release their major studio films in newly reopened theaters, but Solstice Studios' Unhinged is sprinting to beat all other movies to the cinema. The Russell Crowe B-movie thriller is proudly announcing that it will be the first "new wide release in American movie theaters since they shut down in March due to Covid-19" with its August 21 release date — a week before Tenet opens in select U.S. theaters on Labor Day weekend.

In a press release that is one step removed from screaming, "Eat shorts, Tenet," Solstice Studios announced the Unhinged release date will be August 21, 2020, bringing the Russell Crowe thriller to theaters 12 days before Tenet's latest U.S. theatrical release date. The film has been delayed several times since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hit, but each delay has been accompanied by a statement from the studio insisting that Unhinged will be the first film in reopened theaters.

John Fithian, President and CEO of the National Association of Theater Owners, seemed happy to acquiesce to Solstice Studios' eagerness to be the first in theaters, saying in a recent statement:

"On behalf of the U.S. exhibition community, I want to thank Solstice Studios for their commitment to bringing Unhinged to theaters, and for doing their part to help reinvigorate the theatrical movie business. Movie theaters are able to safely reopen with thorough health and safety measures in many states across the country, but if studios wait until 100% of the theaters are open, it will be too late. We need supporters like Solstice Studios, and Unhinged is the perfect film to kick off the opening of theaters to capture the last weeks of summer box office, followed by Tenet on Labor Day weekend and a strong fall schedule."

In Unhinged, "Rachel (Caren Pistorius) is running late getting to work when she crosses paths with a stranger (Russell Crowe) at a traffic light. Soon, Rachel finds herself and everyone she loves the target of a man who feels invisible and is looking to make one last mark upon the world by teaching her a series of deadly lessons. What follows is a dangerous game of cat and mouse that proves you never know who you're driving next to."

The film sounds like the stuff of VOD dreams, which is why it's odd that Solstice Studios is so insistent that Unhinged be the first major theatrical release. But with an Oscar-winning star like Russell Crowe leading the film, perhaps Solstice truly believes it has a genuine hit on its hands. We'll have to see come August when major U.S. exhibition chains start to tentatively reopen in anticipation of the release of Tenet — excuse me, Unhinged.