Battle-Rap Satire ‘Bodied’ Heads to YouTube Red

The electric festival favorite stars Eminem.
By  · Published on January 17th, 2018

The electric festival favorite stars Eminem.

After the reception Bodied received at the Toronto Film Festival, winning the People’s Choice Midnight Madness award, the only question remaining was when the film would be released. Bodied went on to screen at both AFI Fest and Fantastic Fest without proper distribution, but now its star Eminem and director Joseph Kahn have announced their distribution partner: YouTube Red. The film is an extremely high-caliber acquisition for the platform and further emphasizes their investment in competing with the other streaming giants.

Bodied will receive a continued rollout before it drops exclusively on the subscription service later this year. The new information comes from Variety with detail that YouTube Red will start with a screening of the film during Sundance before planning wider theatrical distribution. This strategy goes against what Netflix has done in acquiring films to solely go in their streaming library. The deal YouTube Red offers might be more intriguing to creators trying to get their films out through as many channels as possible.

Bodied is directed by Kahn and produced by Kahn, Eminem, Def Jam Recordings CEO Paul Rosenberg, Adi Shankar, and Jil Hardin. The film stars Adam Merkin (Calum Worthy of American Vandal fame) who accidentally becomes a top-tier battle-rapper. That success comes with a lot of people trying to take the crown. There should be consideration paid to the fact that Bodied is a battle-rap satire and not a film that exists as a drama like 8 Mile.

Even without having been released widely, Bodied holds a 95% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes due to the festival screenings (we wrote that it “serves up eye candy and mind candy” in our TIFF review). The film is a high-quality release that YouTube Red will use to bolster their brand. And while they’re at Sundance with this, they’re sure to be looking to boost their influence further over the fest and continue picking up acquisitions.

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News Writer/Columnist for Film School Rejects. It’s the Pictures Co-host. Bylines Playboy, ZAM, Paste Magazine and more.