Joseph Kahn has been having a hard time getting his film, Bodied, into the hands of the masses. The battle rap-centric movie debuted at the Toronto Film Festival in September of last year to exceptional reviews (we even put it on our list of the 25 best movies of 2018 so far) ... and then went nowhere quickly. In January, it was announced that YouTube had acquired the rights to Khan’s film for its YouTube Red subscription service.
Now, Collider reports that YouTube Red has partnered with NEON to give Bodied a theatrical release. NEON is an up-and-coming distributor with releases like I, Tonya, the Aubrey Plaza-starring Ingrid Goes West, buzzed-about documentary Three Identical Strangers and the forthcoming Assassination Nation to its name. Bodied opens on Nov. 2, a little over a year after its original debut. Collider’s report also notes that the deal isn’t quite finished, so there aren’t any details on whether there will be an exclusive release window for theaters.
In his rundown on the Portland International Film Festival, Paste’s Dom Sinacola writes that “Bodied confronts pretty much every type of trigger—racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, commercialism, elitism, whatever, all filtered through an artistic expression unapologetically shitting on them.”
The film’s script was written by Alex Larsen, who is a battle rapper himself—he goes by the name Kid Twist. Eminem serves as the inspiration for the film’s lead character, Adam Merkin, played by Calum Worthy (American Vandal)—the rapper also produced Bodied alongside Paul Rosenberg and Adi Shankar. A Nov. 2 release date means the film will be opening against Amazon’s Suspiria remake and Fox’s behemoth of a Freddie Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody.