Steven Soderbergh’s ‘No Sudden Move’ to premiere at Tribeca

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This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Benicio del Toro, center, and Don Cheadle in a scene from “No Sudden Move,” a film that will premiere as the centerpiece gala at the Tribeca Film Festival next month. (Claudette Barius/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Steven Soderbergh crime drama “No Sudden Move,” a film shot last year with safety protocols in the midst of the pandemic, will premiere as the centerpiece gala at the Tribeca Film Festival next month.

Festival organizers said Thursday that “No Sudden Move” will debut June 18 in an outdoor screening in Battery Park during the New York festival, which is to be held with a mixture of indoor and outdoor screenings throughout the city. “No Sudden Move,” set in 1954 Detroit and starring Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, David Harbour and Ray Liotta, will premiere July 1 on HBO Max.

“A year ago I was on lockdown in Tribeca, so I never imagined we could return 12 months later with a new movie screening for a live audience in our neighborhood,” the New York-based Soderbergh said in a statement. “I’m VERY happy.”

The film follows Soderbergh’s high-profile moonlighting gig as co-producer of the Academy Awards. With fellow producers Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins, Soderbergh steered the Oscars telecast through COVID-19 protocols and managed an intimate, in-person ceremony at a time when many other award shows struggled to do more than bring nominees together by Zoom. Still, the show suffered a steep ratings drop and one gambit, to shake up the usual awards order, ended the ceremony awkwardly with an absent best-actor winner in Anthony Hopkins.

“No Sudden Move,” which also stars Jon Hamm, Amy Seimetz, Brendan Fraser, Kieran Culkin, Noah Jupe and Julia Fox, is described as centering on “a group of small-time criminals are hired to steal what they think is a simple document. When their plan goes horribly wrong, their search for who hired them – and for what ultimate purpose – weaves them through all echelons of the race-torn, rapidly changing city.”

Soderbergh last year helped lead the Directors Guild’s efforts to safely resume production. In an interview in December, the filmmaker said the protocols on “No Sudden Move” didn’t slow him down.

“The bottom line — I don’t care what anybody says — if you’re shooting on a film set, there’s no version of that that includes physical distancing. It’s impossible. It’s an anthill,” he said.

“So what that means is: For the people that in are in that anthill, you’ve got to test them three times a week and you need the results within 24 hours,” Soderbergh said. “If you can do that, you can choke off an outbreak before it’s gotten anywhere. We created a bubble of sorts. We took over a hotel and the densest part of the anthill stayed there. It’s a production within the production.”

The Tribeca Film Festival runs June 9-20. Earlier this week, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced closing night of Tribeca is to be held at a newly open Radio City Music Hall with a 100% capacity vaccinated audience.

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Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

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