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Lionsgate withdraws movie distribution deal due to lack of pandemic insurance

Lionsgate withdraws movie distribution deal due to lack of pandemic insurance

Details have emerged that the entertainment company Lionsgate has pulled out from its deal to distribute the upcoming action-thriller film “The Plane,” starring Gerard Butler.

A year ago, Lionsgate bought the rights to distribute the film at the American Film Market in territories such as North America, Latin America, the UK, and India. But sources confirmed with Deadline that Lionsgate is now withdrawing from the film because the producers were unable to secure production insurance for the film that would cover for a COVID-19 outbreak.

The sources also said that insurers are still adjudicating claims from film stoppages in March and have since yet to write any new pandemic policies. Those that continue to write will likely charge considerably higher prices, the sources warned.

Deadline reported that while Lionsgate stepped out of distributing “The Plane,” international sales agency MadRiver and US rights representative CAA Media Finance are approaching other distributors who might be able to insure themselves against any delays in the film’s production caused by a viral outbreak.

Shooting for “The Plane” is expected to begin in the early spring or summer next year. It was originally set to be shot in Malaysia sometime last month, but COVID-19 cases started to spike in the country. The producers later considered filming in the Dominican Republic, but cases also began spiking there. They finally considered filming in the US, but viral infection cases unsurprisingly started to rise as well. It was during the US filming consideration period when Lionsgate stepped out of the picture, Deadline reported.

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