‘Solaris’ gets early launch

Space pic becomes holiday fare due to wrap, post speed

Steven Soderbergh’s space thriller “Solaris” is shifting its orbit, moving to an earlier launch date of Nov. 27.

Thanksgiving-frame bow for the George Clooney starrer — produced by Jim Cameron, Rae Sanchini and John Landau — was made possible by pic’s timely wrap three weeks ago, 20th Century Fox distrib prexy Bruce Snyder said. “Solaris” had been set for Dec. 13.

“Originally, we didn’t know we would have it done in time,” Snyder said. “Now, with an accelerated post sked, we can move it there.”

“Solaris” thus becomes Turkey Day sesh’s “only adult movie,” Snyder said. He added the move is firm, regardless of any additional jockeying by rival distribs over the still-fluid holidays season sked.

“The film is in great shape so early in the post process that bringing it up a couple of weeks is no problem,” Cameron said.

Potential ‘landmark’

“Nov. 27 is a great date, but from what Steven has been showing me of the rough cut, ‘Solaris’ is going to be such a landmark of science fiction filmmaking that it doesn’t really matter when it is released,” he said.

Pic reps Soderbergh’s first project since 2001 hit “Ocean’s Eleven” — excluding helmer’s modestly budgeted and experimental “Full Frontal,” which is set to bow this week. Turkey-sesh skedding also reps Fox’s belief that the sci-fier can be marketed as one of the holiday season’s more prominent titles.

But the “Solaris” time warp out of the Dec. 13 frame also puts two weeks’ distance between Soderbergh sci-fier and a potential direct competitor –Paramount’s “Star Trek: Nemesis,” the latest space adventure in distrib’s long-running feature franchise.

Disney’s Jackie Chan actioner “Shanghai Knights” is also skedded to unspool Dec. 13.

On its new date, “Solaris” is positioned against Sony toon “Adam Sandler’s 8 Crazy Nights,” which should skew substantially younger. It also will knock heads — but only gently — with Disney’s family toon “Treasure Planet.”

To accommodate the move to the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Fox is bouncing Orlando Jones-Nick Cannon laffer “Drumline” from Nov. 27 to Jan. 10.

Soderbergh pic stars Clooney as a psychologist sent to probe odd behavior by scientists aboard a space station orbiting the planet Solaris. Cast also features Natascha McElhone and Jeremy Davies.

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