Logan Paul’s The Thinning: New World Order is officially coming out, just months after Paul’s controversy in Japan prompted YouTube to put the film on hold indefinitely.
Paul posted a trailer for the film on YouTube last night. Paul also tweeted out the news with a devil emoji, announcing the “surprise” move.
Although The Thinning: New World Order is hardly one of 2018’s most anticipated movies, it does arrive amid controversy. YouTube announced on January 10th that the film, as well as all other YouTube Red projects Paul was involved in, would remain on hold indefinitely. The decision came just a little over a week after Paul’s decision to upload a video that contained the body of a man who had committed suicide in Japan’s Aokigahara forest.
At the time, the company also removed Paul from Google Preferred, its top-tier advertising group. Paul is still unable to receive Google Preferred ads, but his actions — which more or less kicked off the platform’s most recent wave of demonetization, helping to usher in one of YouTube’s most turbulent times — haven’t affected his channel too much. He still pulls in revenue through AdSense and boasts more than 18 million subscribers. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki even defended Paul’s place within the YouTube community during an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher at CodeCon earlier this year.
“He hasn’t done anything that would cause those three strikes,” Wojcicki said. “We can’t just be pulling people off our platform ... They need to violate a policy. We need to have consistent [rules]. This is like a code of law.”
The Thinning: New World Order’s release is just another win for Paul, who is currently on a redemption tour.
Update Oct. 17, 9:30 AM ET: A YouTube representative issued the following statement to The Verge about the company’s decision to move forward with The Thinning: New World Order. The project was never intended to be cancelled entirely, but was shelved following Paul’s behavior.
“The entire cast and crew worked extremely hard to complete this film last year,” a representative said. “In fairness to all of them and the fans who have been asking for the sequel, we decided to release The Thinning: New World Order.”
Update Oct. 17 12:45 PM ET: The film is available to stream now for YouTube Premium members. The original story has been updated to reflect this new information.