What happened to Guy Ritchie’s Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre? The big-budget spy caper was originally set for a March 2022 theatrical release from STX, only to see its debut canceled at the eleventh hour. While many have blamed some of the bad guys apparently being Ukrainian (a faux pas given the war in Ukraine), a new report in Deadline suggests that this is only a minor concern and that distributor STX’s behind-the-scenes turmoil is more to blame. In fact, the trade now says Operation Fortune will likely make its debut via a high-profile streaming release, though none have been named yet.
The report notes that Lionsgate — which has picked up many of the STX films — was for a while willing to release it, only for them to back out when they realized it would go up against Gerard Butler’s Airplane, which is getting excellent early buzz. That’s strange Operation Fortune couldn’t find another theatrical taker given that Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham’s last film, The wrath of mangrossed over $100 million worldwide, despite coming out at the height of the pandemic.
Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre stars Jason Statham as the head of a spy team (which includes Aubrey Plaza) who recruits a movie star (played by Josh Hartnett) to infiltrate the inner circle of an evil billionaire, played by Hugh Grant. Given the ensemble, one would assume the film is quite commercial, but unfortunately, it’s likely to appear on a streaming service soon. Ritchie, for his part, seems pretty happy to work with streamers since he’s already shot a movie with Jake Gyllenhaal which Amazon Studios partially financed. Maybe Operation Fortune will be a Prime Video exclusive?
Earlier this year, STX released the Chris Pine film, The contractor through a limited theatrical/streaming deal with Paramount Pictures and Showtime. The excellent film was greatly underestimated, so hopefully, Operation Fortune will be able to ensure a better rollout.