Surprise, Universal's Pete Davidson Movie Is Heading Straight To Homes

The King of Staten Island Pete Davidson shirtless in the middle of the road

As the current climate of world events has thrown off the release strategy for many of 2020’s potential released, some films have stayed the course by getting creative. Universal Studios is one of the pioneers of that strategy, as their early VOD release of films like The Invisible Man and The Hunt, as well as the VOD debut of Trolls: World Tour have pivoted what could have been a disastrous scenario into an opportunity. Which makes the news that the hotly anticipated Judd Apatow/Pete Davidson movie The King of Staten Island will be going straight to VOD this June an even bigger deal.

In the vein of traditionally funny yet touching Apatowian comedies, The King of Staten Island is loosely based on Davidson’s own life experiences. Originally, the film was supposed to debut at this year’s South by Southwest festival, which then turned into a Tribeca Film Festival world premiere. But with both festivals cancelled, it looked like the film would be scrapped for the foreseeable future.

That changed today, as Universal officially announced that June 12th would be the release date. And with that announcement came a pretty hysterical video chat between Pete Davidson and Judd Apatow, celebrating the occasion in an Instagram post:

A photo posted by on

If there was ever an appropriate manner to announce The King of Staten Island going to VOD, it has to be Apatow and Davidson riffing over the internet, adlibbing a conversation about what they should be doing with their film. Naturally, when you’ve got comedians like these guys in front of the camera, there’s bound to be something hysterical captured by the cameras.

While this isn’t exactly what you’d call a trailer for The King of Staten Island, as there’s no footage from the actual film in play, this riff-off between the man behind such films as The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up and the SNL cast member who can be seen in next year’s The Suicide Squad probably sells the movie better than any footage ever could.

Though it wouldn’t be all that surprising if right at this very moment, an editor is putting together something that’s more indicative of what The King of Staten Island will really look like as a movie. But as we are in the “Age of Jank”, and Pete Davidson’s video call skills are undoubtedly honed by the recent decision to film SNL through similar methods, a Video On Demand release calls for a very On Demand promotion.

It’s exciting to see how the landscape of releasing has shifted with current events, and bringing The King of Staten Island to the masses a little earlier than expected should build even more buzz around this would-be hit. And maybe Pete Davidson can still get his Oscar, if the rules surrounding eligible films this year manage to take into account the circumstances 2020 has presented films far and wide.

The King of Staten Island premieres on VOD June 12th, a week earlier than its initially promised June 19th release date.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.