Everything old is new (and ugly) even today, as Deadline reports that Paramount Pictures did the impossible and managed to leave Clifford the big red dog, pulling the next film from its slated September 17 release date. The reason is familiar, and we all hoped we had seen the back by this point: Concerns related to COVID-19.
Specifically, the film, which stars Jack Whitehall and Darby Camp as human servants of the huge Scarlet Canine, voiced by David Alan Grier – is being pulled from this fall release location because Paramount is worried about families ‘Delta variant disease concerns’ willingness to go out to the movies and hang out with their big red friend. As children’s hospitalizations for the disease increase in the United States, medical experts have warned of the threat that Delta holds specifically for children under 12, who cannot be vaccinated. Since “children under 12” is also quite firmly the Clifford demographic, and that Paramount hopes this film will be a hit in theaters (provided people really feel safe taking their children to see it), the decision to launch the film is quite understandable.
Yet this is another illustration of the fact that we are probably not as much about the pandemic as people were clearly hoping, especially as large sections of the population – children, those for whom the vaccine is medically unsafe, and, you know, others– continue not to be vaccinated. So far, there is no indication that any other studios or movies will follow suit and start playing kick-the-movie again, and Clifford-who really needs children, More precisely, go out for that – could end up being a special case. But remains: isf COVID-19 can thwart an entity as seemingly invulnerable, large and crimson as Clifford, what can we do for the rest of us?