Ben Falcone, Melissa McCarthy
Kathy Hutchins /

The new Melissa McCarthy sci-fi comedy ‘Superintelligence’ will not open theatrically as planned.  Instead, the comedian and her director husband, Ben Falcone, have decided to release the movie via the new HBO Max streaming service.  ‘Superintelligence’ had been slated for release during the busy holiday season, on December 20, but have chosen a different route, at least in part to reach a wider audience.

McCarthy told Deadline:

“It was actually Ben’s idea, it came from the filmmaker himself.  We had a release date, a full marketing plan, and I had all my press lined up. We were really ready to go. When the announcement came that HBO Max was really happening, Ben had this idea. And we thought, is this better? Different doesn’t mean worse, and how are we watching films ourselves? To us, each movie is near and dear to our hearts. You just want people to see it and love it and you want them to feel good. Superintelligence at its core is, love wins, and people matter. I want that to get to as many people as it can. We need that today, and this seemed like the best way to do it. So no, [this wasn’t imposed on us]. We were ready to go the other way, and we decided to make the detour.”

Falcone added:

“Honestly, you can release a mid-budget movie, and if we’d stayed in the theaters, we could have done incredibly well. There still are those examples of movies like this one that do. But for this movie, at this time, we felt like it was the best way to go. The PG rating, the fact they are starting this thing. All these streaming services are starting, and here, we are up there with Sesame Street, and Meryl Streep and JJ Abrams and Hugh Jackman and Jordan Peele. There are cool people doing this. So following my fear-based mentality, I thought it was the best move.”

In addition to ‘Superintelligence’, HBO Max will also be offering ‘Let Them All Talk’ from Steven Soderbergh and starring Meryl Streep, Greg Berlanti’s ‘Unpregnant’, and ‘Bad Education’ starring Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney, which HBO paid $17 million to acquire.

Carol Peters’ life is turned upside down when she is selected for observation by the world’s first superintelligence – a form of artificial intelligence that may or may not take over the world.

‘Superintelligence’ also stars Bobby Cannavale, Jean Smart, Michael Beach, Brian Tyree Henry, and the voice of James Corden as the titular ‘Superintelligence’.  The release will now be delayed, as HBO Max isn’t expected to launch until next spring.

Falcone and McCarthy are re-teaming for ‘Thunder Force’ for Netflix, which also stars Octavia Spencer.