With the coronavirus mercilessly sweeping the planet, places where people gather to be entertained are being shut down, and cinemas are sadly no exception. This is playing havoc with the release schedules of major movies with many now being released digitally, the latest of which is action film Bloodshot, available from today.
Helmed by VFX artist Dave Wilson, whose only previous directorial credit is Sonnie’s Edge, the quite decent premiere episode of sci-fi anthology series Love, Death & Robots, the movie sees Vin Diesel growl, scowl and punch his way through a story that casts him as a marine killed in action and reanimated by a shady cybernetics company who continually erase his memory and use him as an assassin to take out their competition.
In the brief time the film could be seen in theaters, it spectacularly failed to set the world on fire, mostly due to its generic story and disappointing visuals. Although to be fair, its minimal box office take will be at least partially down to many people’s hesitancy to venture outdoors due to the global pandemic, even before government lockdowns were put in place.
It was intended that Bloodshot would be the first entry in a Valiant Cinematic Universe, with Valiant being the comics publisher who operate a vast and varied stable of bizarre heroes and villains, including this one. It may still go forward, too, despite the movie’s poor showing. Though as of yet, official plans for what comes next have yet to be announced.
Of course, Bloodshot is far from the first film being given a digital release months ahead of that originally planned, with the likes of Birds of Prey, The Hunt, Onward and The Invisible Man all being made available online a matter of weeks after their cinematic debut. And after the pandemic is over and the industry has recovered, studios may well take a good look at the numbers that the online viewing pulled in while people were housebound and decide whether simultaneous cinematic and digital releases might become a viable new standard.