One of the most talked about titles out of last year’s Sundance Film Festival was Magazine Dreams, starring Jonathan Majors as an aspiring bodybuilder who turns violent after he fails to achieve his goals. Searchlight Pictures acquired the film out of the fest, reportedly paying millions for the rights, and some observers pegged Jonathan Majors as a potential Oscar contender for the film.

That was in January. In March, Majors was arrested after police found his ex-partner, Grace Jabbari, with injuries to her head and finger. Majors pled not guilty to all of the charges; his attorneys had tried to claim that it was Jabbari who had assault Majors that night. But in December, Majors was found guilty of reckless assault in the third degree and harassment. At his upcoming sentencing, he faces up to a year in jail.

Almost immediately after the verdict, Marvel dropped Majors as the villainous centerpiece of its ongoing Multiverse Saga, Kang the Conqueror. And now comes word that Searchlight Pictures — which, like Marvel, is a division of Disney — has decided not to release Magazine Dreams after all.

CREED III
MGM
loading...

READ MORE: How Will Marvel Replace Jonathan Majors?

Per Variety, the film “has been released back to the filmmakers by Searchlight, which will no longer be distributing.” The creators of the movie, “will now be free to shop the film to other distributors.”

Based on the description of the movie from the Sundance website, it’s easy to understand why a big company would not want to release this movie, especially given the nature of Majors’ case...

Killian Maddox lives with his ailing veteran grandfather, obsessively working out between court-mandated therapy appointments and part-time shifts at a grocery store where he harbors a crush on a friendly cashier. Though Killian’s struggles to read social cues and maintain control of his volatile temper amplify his sense of disconnection amid a hostile world, nothing deters him from his fiercely protected dream of bodybuilding superstardom, not even the doctors who warn that he’s causing permanent damage to his body with his quest.  Writer-director Elijah Bynum masterfully reveals the duality of Killian’s existence, depicting the toll of a toxic stew of self-imposed pressure to meet unrealistic expectations and hypermasculine role modeling while simultaneously conveying his genuine, if fraught, efforts to fulfill an underlying desire for human connection.

Now, could I see some smaller distributor taking a chance on the movie? Absolutely. There could be a lot of curiosity about this movie, given Majors’ conviction and the subject matter. We’ll see if it sees the light of day somewhere.

Get our free mobile app

The Best Movie Every Year Since 1980

Here are several generations worth of classic, must-see movies.

More From ScreenCrush