Rejoice exhibition, because some wide releases are keeping their dates on the theatrical film schedule next year, despite it being wrecked by the actors strike. Disney had April 5 on hold and that’s being designated to 20th Century Studios’ psychological thriller The First Omen, the prequel to the classic 1976 horror film.

The original movie, a hit in its day, grossed over $60 million at the domestic box office (unadjusted for inflation) and starred Gregory Peck, Lee Remick and Harvey Stephens, follows an American ambassador who believes his 5-year-old son is the Antichrist.

In this prequel directed by Arkasha Stevenson, a young American woman is sent to Rome to begin a life of service to the church, she encounters a darkness that causes her to question her own faith and uncovers a terrifying conspiracy that hopes to bring about the birth of evil incarnate.

The First Omen stars Nell Tiger Free (“Servant”), Tawfeek Barhom (“Mary Magdalene”), Sonia Braga (“Kiss of the Spider Woman”), Ralph Ineson (“The Northman”), and Bill Nighy (“Living”). The movie is based on characters created by David Seltzer (“The Omen”), with a story by Ben Jacoby (“Bleed”) and a screenplay by Tim Smith & Arkasha Stevenson and Keith Thomas (“Firestarter”). The producers are David S. Goyer (“Hellraiser”) and Keith Levine (“The Night House”) and the executive producers are Tim Smith, Whitney Brown (“Rosaline”), and Gracie Wheelan.

Universal has April 5 on hold for a new wide theatrical release. We’ll see if that sticks soon enough.

As one major studio corp comm rep told us about the 2024 theatrical release calendar post SAG-AFTRA strike, “we’re taking it day-by-day as far as changes go.”

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