Paramount delays the release for The Rhythm Section starring Blake Lively. Directed by Reed Morano, the action thriller originally had a February 2019 premiere date, and was then pushed to November 2019. Now, The Rhythm Section won’t release until 2020.
The Rhythm Section stars Lively as Stephanie Patrick, a woman who spirals out of control after her family dies in a plane crash. Patrick was supposed to be on the flight, and later discovers that the government covered up a planned terror attack. After seeing a journalist get murdered, Patrick transforms into a vengeful assassin who sets of an a quest for absolute truth. The Rhythm Section co-stars Jude Law and Sterling K. Brown. The film’s director, Morano, previously directed the features Meadowland and I Think We're Alone Now, along with episodes for TV series like Halt and Catch Fire and Billions. Morano is an accomplished cinematographer, and she’s the first woman to win an Emmy Award for her directorial work on Hulu's The Handmaid’s Tale.
Per Deadline, The Rhythm Section’s release has been pushed to January 31, 2020. Rather having the Lively film square off against Frozen 2, 21 Bridges, and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood at the box office, Paramount re-positioned The Rhythm Section against Gretel and Hansel, a fantasy horror starring IT Chapter 2 actress Sophia Lillis. Paramount hasn’t released an official statement about the re-scheduling. The Rhythm Section is based on Mark Burnell’s 1999 novel of the same name. The film was produced by Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, both of whom have produced multiple James Bond films.
In January 2018, The Rhythm Section’s production was delayed when Lively broke her hand while filming. At the time, she had recently appeared in a box office bomb, Marc Forster’s All I See Is You, this coming after strong performances in films like The Age of Adaline, The Shallows, and Café Society. Lively re-emerged with a supporting role in the 2018 box office hit A Simple Favor, but hasn’t appeared in a feature film since. Lively, who is currently pregnant with her third child, is married to actor Ryan Reynolds. From 2007 to 2012, Lively starred as Serena van der Woodsen on The CW series Gossip Girl.
For Lively fans, The Rhythm Section’s delay may be disappointing, but it does appear that the re-scheduling is a smart move for Paramount. And given that Morano is one of the most promising feature filmmakers, male or female, the action thriller could be the film that propels Lively into the next phase of her career. If The Rhythm Section becomes a mainstream success, Lively will likely become Paramount’s next franchise star.