Kevin Hart’s latest film, Fatherhood, will now debut on streaming service Netflix after they acquired the rights from Sony Pictures.
Originally due for a cinematic release, Fatherhood has continually been put back by Sony due to recent restrictions on cinemas. It was originally scheduled for April 3, 2020, and has since had dates of October 2020, January 2021, and April 2021. With uncertainty still evident in Hollywood, it will now debut on the streaming service on June 18, with an international release date yet to be announced.
Other prominent cast members include Alfre Woodard, Lil Rel Howery, DeWanda Wise, Melody Hurd, and Paul Reiser, with American Pie director Paul Weitz at the helm. The story is based on Matthew Logelin’s book Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love, and is a deviation from Hart’s usual comedy genre. Instead, he plays a father forced to raise his newborn child alone after his partner dies during childbirth.
Hart is seemingly seeking to expand his repertoire with a deviation from his comedy roots, not least after he was recently confirmed as being a part of the film adaption of video game favorite Borderlands. That begins filming in 2022 and it may be we see him before that after he signed a deal with Netflix for four films under his HartBeat Production company banner.
Speaking after penning that deal, Hart is reported by Slashgear.com as saying: “Partnering with Netflix is an amazing opportunity for HartBeat and myself. I am excited to act in and produce cutting-edge films with Netflix. I am extremely grateful to Ted Sarandos and Scott Stuber, we share the same creative vision and always put the audience first.”
It is understood that the deal to take Fatherhood to Netflix was struck independently and is not part of the HartBeat agreement. However, the deal did follow the success of Hart’s last film, Zero F**ks Given, which drew 21m views during the first four weeks on Netflix.
Hart is one of the world’s best-paid comedians and has played a role in several high-profile comedy films, such as Scary Movie 3 and Little Fockers. He has since starred in Ride Along and Ride Along 2, as well as Central Intelligence, for which he won a couple of People’s Choice Awards. He has not solely been restricted to acting either, branching out into music, presenting, and even poker. He might be one of the best-paid comedians in the world, but Poker.org suggest he is also a keen poker player and a regular on the charity tournament circuit. He is not always on the ball around the felt though, with SB Nation explaining how he once won a hand after making a huge mistake and misunderstanding his cards.
There is no mistake at all with his new Netflix deal though, confirming him as one of the major players in the world of cinema. With Fatherhood now debuting on the service, as well as his upcoming four-film deal (all set to star him, by the way), he is now on a parallel with Adam Sandler. The 54-year-old, whose films earned more than $2bn at the box office, recently extended his deal with Netflix after the success of Murder Mystery with Jennifer Aniston, and Uncut Gems.
Both actors’ penning deals with Netflix signals the continuing shift in the way the public digest films these days, and may well only be the start of an avalanche of similar deals in the years to come.