Crossroads starring Britney Spears gets exciting and promising streaming update

(L-R): Co-stars Taryn Manning, Britney Spears, Anson Mounnt and Zoe Saldana at the premiere of "Crossroads." (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)
(L-R): Co-stars Taryn Manning, Britney Spears, Anson Mounnt and Zoe Saldana at the premiere of "Crossroads." (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images) /

Over 20 years after its release in theaters in February 2002, the cult favorite Britney Spears movie Crossroads returns to theaters in celebration of the pop icon’s memoir The Woman in Me. The underrated movie hits the big screen again on Oct. 23 and 25 with Spears’ highly anticipated book releasing on Oct. 24.

For years, Crossroads has been incredibly hard for fans to come by. The movie hasn’t streamed anywhere and the DVDs are long out of print, which should come as odd considering not only does it star Britney Spears but two popular stars in their own right, Zoe Saldaña and Taryn Manning. It really shouldn’t be as impossible as it is to watch a beloved movie.

Well, according to director Tamra Davis, her attempts via her lawyers to bring the film back into the pop culture sphere were nothing compared to Spears’ idea and request to re-release her one and only starring role in theaters in conjunction with her memoir hitting shelves.

Davis revealed that the star’s initiative prompted Sony to purchase the film’s rights from original distributor Paramount, all leading to the current limited engagement in theaters. Following the theatrical re-release, Davis teases that a streaming deal is next on the agenda. Finally, at long last, the movie will seemingly be accessible to stream very soon!

Why Netflix should stream Crossroads

While a streaming home hasn’t been named quite yet (as of Oct. 19), it’s worth noting that Sony has a solid relationship with Netflix. The studio and the streamer currently have a five-year deal in place for Netflix to receive its latest theatrical movies — such as Where the Crawdads Sing, Uncharted, Love Again, No Hard Feelings, and more — for a period of time.

Netflix also boasts a number of its original series that hail from Sony, including The Night Agent, Cobra Kai, The Crown, and others, and has acquired Sony-produced shows like Outlander, The Blacklist, and S.W.A.T. Apart from its Sony deal, originals, and TV acquisitions, plenty of Sony movies arrive each month. For example, The Amazing Spider-Man and The House Bunny came in October.

It’s such a no brainer for Netflix to nab the streaming rights to Crossroads, given its time-tested and constantly proven agility and reach. This past summer, the streamer became a secondary home to Suits, and we all know how unexpectedly huge that became. Older movies, too, have the ability to catch a second wind on Netflix that other streamers can’t offer in the same way.

As someone who watched the movie in theaters back in 2002 and has held tightly to their DVD copy for the last 20 years, I’m celebrating the fact that Crossroads has a newfound path to streaming services, but I’m holding out hope and really manifesting that it will drop on Netflix. It’s the streamer that offers the movie the best chance at being viewed by the most people and becoming positively reevaluated by the public.

When it was released, Spears was at one of the biggest peaks of her career, having made records with her first two albums and releasing her third months prior to the movie. The biggest pop star in the world making her theatrical debut in a starring role in teen dramedy full of friendship, romance, music, and road trip shenanigans? It was a must-watch!

However, critics didn’t agree. The movie holds a far too low 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and I remember at the time people harshly judging Spears’ acting. What we know now is that the movie was written by Shonda Rhimes, the television producer extraordinaire, and Spears had a difficult time stepping out of Lucy’s shoes after filming. She was dedicated, and she was great.

No matter where it ends up (though I hope it will be Netflix), we will all surely be watching through a different lens being a couple decades removed from 2002 and on the other side of an unfairly tumultuous and abusive time for Spears. When it begins streaming, wherever it may stream, I hope people will be kinder and celebrate the charismatic talent she brought to the big screen.

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