'Happy Death Day 2U' Shifts Release Date Due to Parkland Shooting Anniversary

The original Happy Death Day blended humor with horror to create an entertaining yet macabre genre film, with the first trailer for its sequel implying a similar adventure. However, given the film's title is Happy Death Day 2U, Universal Pictures is shifting the film's release date from the planned February 14th, the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, to February 13th.

"When Universal Pictures became aware last week that the one-year anniversary of the tragic events in Parkland, Florida fell on the Happy Death Day 2U release date, the studio spoke with victim advocates and immediately began the process of changing the release date of the film," the studio issued in a statement. "Following discussions with its partners in exhibition, Universal will move the North American release date to February 13th. Additionally, the studio has decided not to show the film in Parkland and the surrounding areas. Outdoor, digital and in-theatre marketing for the film will be suspended in that market. The studio understands the importance of memorializing the February 14th date as an opportunity to continue to allow the Parkland community to heal."

While many audiences instantly connect February 14th with Valentine's Day, the loved ones of the shooting victims will forever remember that date as a time of tragedy. Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed in the attack, started a social media campaign to bring attention to the issue. Following confirmation of the release date shift, Guttenberg took to Twitter to share his approval of the decision.

"Very happy to announce that I just got off the phone with executives at Universal Studios," Guttenberg tweeted. "They will be moving the release date of the movie off of February 14th and they will also be taking steps to address the local needs of the Parkland community. This was a great outcome."

Jessica Rothe leads the returning cast of Happy Death Day 2U, the follow-up to Blumhouse's (Split, Get Out, The Purge series) surprise 2017 smash hit of riveting, repeating twists and comic turns. This time, our hero Tree Gelbman (Rothe) discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead.

In the first film, Tree Gelbman is a blissfully self-centered collegian who wakes up on her birthday in the bed of a student named Carter (Israel Broussard). As the morning goes on, Tree gets the eerie feeling that she's experienced the events of this day before. When a masked killer suddenly takes her life in a brutal attack, she once again magically wakes up in Carter's dorm room unharmed. Now, the frightened young woman must relive the same day over and over until she figures out who murdered her.

Fans can check out Happy Death Day 2U in theaters on February 13th.

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