The new SpongeBob movie, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run, is losing its theatrical release (as so many things have) because of the coronavirus pandemic, but its alternate path is going to be a little more unusual. According to Variety, the movie will be heading to “premium digital rental services” (as in, the ones where you pay for the movie) early next year, and then it will be available exclusively on CBS All Access. If a (former) major theatrical release seems like a weird thing to dump on the platform that is otherwise just for the new Twilight Zone and Star Trek shows, that’s because Sponge On The Run will also be part of the larger CBS All Access rebrand (which we first heard about back when ViacomCBS got its corporate claws on John Krasinski’s Some Good News).
We now know a bit more about that rebrand, with Variety saying it will involving bringing in more “library programming” from Viacom’s TV branches (Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, BET, Smithsonian, and MTV) plus Paramount’s film catalog. Variety says all episodes of SpongeBob Squarepants will be available on CBS All Access as part of this, but it doesn’t say when this is all happening. The last thing we heard was that it was coming later this summer. Going back to Sponge On The Run, it was originally supposed to come out at the end of May but was pushed to early August because of the pandemic, but this bump is putting it into 2021—a surprisingly long delay, given the fact that other movies that moved straight to digital releases (like The King Of Staten Island and Trolls World Tour didn’t postpone their launches that much). Also, it’s been a while since we heard about Sponge On The Run, but this is the one with Keanu Reeves sort of playing himself.