Steven Spielberg Pentagon Papers Drama Gets 2017 Oscar-Season Release

Steven Spielberg Tom Hanks Meryl Streep
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Jennifer Lawrence's 'Red Sparrow' Pushed Back to 2018

Steven Spielberg’s untitled Pentagon Papers drama announced itself as a major awards season contender in this year’s Oscars race.

The film, which is rumored to star Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, will open in limited release on December 22, 2017. It will expand nationwide on January 12, 2018, a week after the Golden Globes broadcast. Hanks will play hard-charging Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, with Streep handling the role of iron-willed publisher Katharine Graham. The pair made the decision to publish a classified history of the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War over the objections of the Nixon administration. Courageous journalist dramas have played nicely with Oscar voters — 2015’s “Spotlight” won Best Picture, while 2005’s “Good Night and Good Luck” and 1976’s “All the President’s Men” earned a bevy of nominations.



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The opening slot puts the Spielberg film in the hunt for Academy Awards gold along with the likes of Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing,” “The Current War” with Benedict Cumberbatch, and “The Greatest Showman” with Hugh Jackman.

Twentieth Century Fox is distributing the film. The studio also announced that “Red Sparrow,” a spy thriller that reunites Jennifer Lawrence with her “Hunger Games” director Francis Lawrence, will open on March 2, 2018. It was originally slated to debut on November 10, 2017, but Fox thinks a spring release will be less competitive. There are no other wide releases opening on that date. The next weekend brings “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2” from Disney.

The studio moved “Murder on the Orient Express,” an all-star adaptation of the Agatha Christie mystery with Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp, and Daisy Ridley into the spot left vacant by “Red Sparrow.” It was originally intended to open on November 22.

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  1. hepwa says:

    Very excited for this movie, old enough to remember it historically. Unsure of its relevance today expect if it is a sly commentary on today’s media (print or otherwise). Will have a hard time competing against the coming gay juggernaut and most beautiful movie I’ve never seen, Call Me By Your Name.

  2. Ian says:

    And in true form, if anyone can get a film [that hasn’t even started production yet] into theaters by end of year, its Steven.

  3. Lex says:

    He said there would be no fourth Jurrasic Park movie. Liar! :)

  4. Alex Meyer says:

    Should be very interesting.

  5. Steve says:

    They should just give the Oscar to this movie, for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Actress then make every other contender prove then they are better then this movie. I mean this is going to be the bar anyway why not just make this Oscar season interesting my calling the shots ahed of time, shaking things up. We already know PWC doesn’t pay attention anyway after last year, this year they could spice it up!

  6. Cecil B da Mill says:

    zzz, here we go another history re write. Don’t save me any popcorn.

  7. I’m sure “Pentagon Papers” will be incredible. Spielberg is pretty good at being a fair director when he does political films (I was utterly shocked when he made Democrats out to be morons in “Lincoln”). I think it will be a comprehensive film of that controversial subject matter. The “Red Sparrow” release date change is the one that is throwing me off. The competition it faced was “Daddy’s Home 2”, “The Star”, and “Paddington 2” (I’m not even sure the first one had a wide release even). RS was basically the action-film of that weekend. Having it move to March 2, which Fox does in fact have a Marvel-related film set to be released that weekend, doesn’t speak in the film’s favor. It either says “The film is terrible and we don’t want to waste an award-friendly release date on it.” or “We’re not sure the film would have sold.” Not to mention March 2 will be the weekend after “Pacific Rim: Uprising” comes out so “Red Sparrow” will face TWO blockbuster films, the opening audience for a Marvel film (MCU or not that brand will bring them in) and the follow-up audience to a film that will definitely make some money, regardless of the mixed reception for the first one.

    • Eva says:

      It’s called “The Post”, just FYI.

      • I know. I missed the first line for some reason. Personally “Pentagon Papers” sounds like a more impressionable title to me but I guess “The Post” will work.

    • cadavra says:

      You should do a little research; the Democrats of the 1860s are not like the Democrats of today.

      • cadavra says:

        Well, your comment sure sounded like snark, but I will gladly accept it on the level that you say you intended it. :-)

      • Okay, that’s commentator #1 missing my point. LOL I know Democrats are no longer slave-keepers, my point is that Spielberg, being Democratic, is willing to evaluate the history of his own political party fairly, the same goes for “Pentagon Papers” which chronicles a time that was primarily Democratic-run in America (Specifically Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy) in which these secrets were kept…perhaps you should do YOUR research. ;)

    • On the plus side, I guess that means the “Murder on the Orient Express” remake is going to be good which is great! I’ve been pulling for that film to be great. Love Kenneth Branaugh’s work as a director!

  8. Bill B. says:

    This is a must see!

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