WB to open ‘Shut’ in July

Kubrick pic a marathon production

Warner Bros. has announced it will finally release Stanley Kubrick’s Tom Cruise-Nicole Kidman starrer “Eyes Wide Shut” on July 16, 1999 — almost three years after the marathon production began.

In a brief written statement issued Wednesday, the studio said the film’s domestic release would be “closely followed” by its international release.

“The film will be ready for release in early 1999,” according to a statement attributed to WB domestic distribution president Barry Reardon and international distribution president Edward Frumkes. “But we don’t want to go out with it until the summer when we can globally position it in the period of maximum admissions and take advantage of the synergy coming from the closely coordinated domestic and international release pattern.”

WB executives were not available for further comment.

The July 16 date puts the film’s debut just two weeks after Warner Bros.’ megabudget Independence Day release, “Wild, Wild West.”

“Eyes Wide Shut,” like all of Kubrick’s recent projects, has been shrouded in secrecy. What is known is that the director’s meticulous shooting style has made the production one of the longest in recent feature history.

Originally, the film shot in London for a grueling 15 months — from Nov. 4, 1996, through Jan. 31, 1998. But in April, Kubrick announced he was bringing key cast members back to the U.K. to reshoot a number of scenes.

Because of scheduling conflicts, he was forced to recast Marie Richardson in a key role original played by Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Earlier in the production Harvey Keitel ankled the pic and was replaced by actor-director Sydney Pollack.

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