Dave Bautista won’t have two comedies coming out within two months of each other after all. Ahead of this weekend’s release of the buddy comedy Stuber, in which Bautista stars opposite Kumail Nanjiani, STXfilms has pulled My Spy from its August 23rd release date. A new release date for the film is not yet set, as it’s simply been given a TBA date in Q1 of 2020.
My Spy finds Bautista playing a CIA agent who’s forced to team up with a 9-year-old-girl when he’s tasked with watching her family. Stuber, meanwhile, finds Bautista playing an LAPD detective who reluctantly joins forces with an Uber driver to catch a notorious drug lord. Both films find Bautista playing a law enforcement official, both films find him in unusual pairings, and both are buddy comedies. So you can see why STXfilms might want to put a little distance between their movie and Stuber.
No official reason was given for the move, but Deadline says it has to do with putting distance between the two films and allowing Bautista the time to do press for both. While STXfilms had a hit with this January’s The Upside—which grossed $122 million worldwide—the studio’s other three 2019 films stumbled: The Best of Enemies grossed only $10.2 million, the comedy Poms faltered with $15.3 million, and the expensive animated feature Ugly Dolls was a flop with just $26.6 million. The studio needs a hit, so it makes sense they’d want to make sure they’re setting My Spy up for success. Still to come on the 2019 docket are Playmobil: The Movie opening August 30th, the stripper-centric Hustlers, and the Russo Brothers-produced crime drama 21 Bridges.
The bigger question is why this My Spy move wasn’t made earlier, but perhaps early positive word on Stuber has the studio convinced folks won’t want to roll the dice on a second Dave Bautista comedy in under two months. Better late than never I suppose.