One of the few remaining question marks of this chaotic awards season finally has an official release date. After its initial August 21st, 2020 release date was delayed due to COVID, Warner Bros. has now announced that Judas and the Black Messiah will release in theaters and on HBO Max on February 12th, 2021.
The film will be one of the first released under Warner’s new extremely controversial release strategy for their 2021 films, where their titles will simultaneously release on their streaming service on the same day as theatrical release (where available). Judas and the Black Messiah will play on HBO Max for one month before being removed from the service.
Directed by Shaka King (Newlyweeds), the film tells the story of criminal William O’Neal (Lakeith Stanfield) who in the late 1960s becomes an informant for the FBI to take down Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya), chairman of the Black Panther Party.
King co-wrote the screenplay with Will Berson from a story by King, Berson, and brothers Keith Lucas and Kenny Lucas. King, Charles D. King, and Ryan Coogler are producers.
Warner Bros. has not yet stated what category placements Stanfield and Kaluuya will compete in for awards, although it’s been speculated that Stanfield will be placed in lead and Kaluuya in supporting.