Following the news that Luca Guadagnino’s Zendaya-led “Challengers” is being pushed to 2024, A24 has decided to pull Julio Torres’ feature directorial debut “Problemista” from its August release date. The films are a sign of likely more delays to come as studios aren’t eager to release new films during the double strike, with actors unavailable to promote them.
Torres wrote, directed and stars in “Problemista” as Alejandro, an aspiring toy designer from El Salvador who moves to New York City to fulfill his dream. But as the time on his work visa runs out, he takes a job as an assistant to an erratic art world outcast (played by Tilda Swinton).
The film is Torres’ take on the U.S. immigration system and the realities of the “American Dream,” all with his signature wit and charming comedic spin. A24 helped take the careers of Ari Aster (“Hereditary”), Lulu Wang (“The Farewell”) and Janicza Bravo (“Zola”) to new heights, and the studio is coming off massive Oscar wins for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” so their track record certainly bodes well for Torres.
The film was originally set to open in select theaters on Aug. 4 and expand wide on Aug. 25.
A new release date for “Problemista” has not yet been set, as a decision will be made at a later date. While some studios stockpiled cast interviews for August releases like “Gran Turismo” and “The Last Voyage of the Demeter” before the SAG-AFTRA strike, “Problemista” is not one of them and its star is also the writer and director, posing a problem when it comes to getting the word out.
On the production front, A24 is less impacted. The studio received approval from SAG-AFTRA to continue with production on David Lowery’s “Mother Mary” starring Anne Hathaway and Michaela Coel and the Paul Rudd vehicle “Death of a Unicorn.”
Deadline first reported the news of “Problemista” being delayed.