‘Bastille Day’ film starring Idris Elba pulled from French theaters

Idris Elba (Photo Credit: Studiocanal)
Idris Elba (Photo Credit: Studiocanal)

This past April, the film Bastille Day, starring Idris Elba (“Luther”) and Richard Madden (“Game of Thrones”) as CIA agent Sean Briar and con artist/professional pickpocket Michael Mason who set out on an anti-terrorist mission in Paris, France, hit theaters in the U.K. and then distributed to theaters in France in time for the actual holiday. It was released Wednesday, July 13 on 244 screens and was the No. 3 opener in France. What Studiocanal didn’t anticipate was that life would proverbially imitate art.

On Thursday, July 14, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, drove a rented, refrigerated truck weighing about 20 tons into crowds along a little over a one mile stretch of the famed Promenade des Anglais in the coastal French city of Nice on Thursday night, killing 84 people, including 10 children and adolescents, and injuring 202 others (52 are in critical condition, and 25 are in a coma). President Francois Hollande describes the most seriously injured as being “between life and death.” Bouhlel fired several times at officers with a handgun.

This is the third major terrorist attack in France.

The film’s original February/March 2016 release date in the UK and Germany were pushed back following the November 2015 Paris attacks. No plans have been announced as yet to release it in the U.S.

Bastille Day aka French National Day is celebrated on July 14 each year. In France, it is formally called “La fête nationale” and commonly “Le quatorze juillet” to commemorate the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789.

Elba’s film isn’t the only entertainment affected by the attack. Rihanna’s concert was canceled. The five-day Nice Jazz Festival, which showcases rock, pop, jazz, opera, world-music and electro concerts, due to start Saturday, was canceled. The Tour de France traditional winners’ podium celebration shifted to a moment of silence, with no sponsors or music.

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