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HBO Max acquires SXSW darling 'The Fallout'

The calm before 'The Fallout.'
(Image credit: SXSW)

The Fallout was, without question, one of the most effective and stunning films out of SXSW in 2021. Months after the festival, we have learned that Warner Bros. Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to the project. It is slated to stream exclusively on HBO Max at a currently unannounced time. Unfortunately, this means that the film is unlikely to see a theatrical release. However, the team behind the film doesn't seem daunted by that! 

"We shot the film during the height of Covid and despite all the stoppages and setbacks, we knew we had to tell this story now," said producers Shaun Sanghani, David Brown, Rebecca Miller and Cara Shine in a joint statement to Warner Bros. "HBO Max is the perfect home for this film, and we are pleased to be working with the whole team at Warner Bros. to bring the film to audiences around the world,

Megan Park's feature filmmaking debut wracked up several awards out SXSW, and features an all-timer performance from Jenna Ortega. The story follows Vada (Ortega), Mia (Maddie Ziegler), and their friends as they navigate life after a school shooting. The Fallout sucks all of the air out of the room, and it's meant to. Our children enter warzones every day, and for some reason we're not collectively on the streets demanding that it end. Park sought to acknowledge that while also ensuring that the kids who have survived this hell know that they're not alone.

"Making The Fallout was a journey I never expected to take and one that has changed me forever,” said Park“If by seeing this film just one teen feels less alone, less afraid, or somehow understood, that will make the journey worth every step.”

Critic Matt Donato reviewed the film out of SXSW. Here's what he had to say: 

There are lines, interactions, and experiential speechlessness throughout The Fallout that will stick with me forever. “I feel mad because I had no idea one guy with a gun could fuck up my life so hard in six minutes—fuck up so many lives.” The Fallout makes a point not to mention the shooter’s name except when Vada and Carlos are shouting because this isn’t his story.

Amelia Emberwing

Amelia Emberwing is the Entertainment Editor and lead critic here at What to Watch. She survives on a steady IV of caffeine, rants, pixie dust and fangirling, and will probably sass you. You can find her on Rotten Tomatoes as an individually approved critic. She's also a member of the Television Critics Association and GALECA.