×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

2008 awards season shaping up

Contenders lock in fall release dates

The 2008 awards season is starting to take early shape as potential contenders lock in fall release dates.

The latest is Universal and Imagine’s “Frost/Nixon,” from director Ron Howard, which will open Dec. 5 in an exclusive run before expanding, U announced Monday.

The film, based on Peter Morgan’s play re-creating David Frost’s famous TV interviews with Richard Nixon, stars Michael Sheen and Frank Langella.

U and Spyglass will open “Flash of Genius,” based on the real-life story of the Detroit engineer who claimed the auto industry stole his idea for the intermittent windshield wiper, on Oct. 17. Greg Kinnear, Lauren Graham and Dermot Mulroney star.

While all five of last season’s Oscar best picture contenders came from studio specialty units, the studios themselves could have a bigger awards presence this go-around. “Frost/Nixon” is followed a week later, on Dec. 12, by Sony’s Will Smith drama “Seven Pounds,” from “Pursuit of Happyness” director Gabrielle Muccino.

Specialty arms aren’t planning on taking a back seat, however, even if they haven’t dated all of their fall films.

The Coen brothers’ next movie, “Burn After Reading,” and Keira Knightley-Ralph Fiennes starrer “The Duchess” both open on Sept. 12. Focus Features will open “Burn After Reading” wide, while Paramount Vantage will take “Duchess” out in a limited run.

The next week, on Sept. 19, Miramax opens Fernando Meirelles’ “Blindness,” starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo, in limited release.

United Artists and MGM debut Bryan Singer’s Tom Cruise starrer “Valkyrie” on Oct. 3; the film was originally scheduled to open in June but was pushed back to shoot a key battle scene, as well as better position it for an awards run. It is currently set to open wide.

Warners will bow Ridley Scott’s Leonardo DiCaprio-Russell Crowe starrer “Body of Lies,” another awards contender, on Oct. 10.

Twentieth Century Fox debuts Baz Luhrmann’s Hugh Jackman-Nicole Kidman epic “Australia” on Nov. 14.

On Nov. 26, the Weinstein Co. is set to open John Hillcoat’s “The Road,” starring Charlize Theron, Viggo Mortensen and Guy Pearce.

Dec. 19 will see two awards contenders open: Paramount Vantage and DreamWorks’ “Revolutionary Road” and Paramount’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

Directed by Sam Mendes, “Revolutionary Road” reteams Kate Winslet and DiCaprio for the first time since “Titanic.” It’s unclear whether the pic will open wide or in a limited run.

Par intends to take David Fincher’s “Benjamin Button,” starring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton, wide.

A number of possible awards contenders have yet to be dated, including DreamWorks’ “The Soloist,” Universal’s “The Changeling,” Vantage’s “Defiance,” Fox Searchlight’s “The Secret Life of Bees,” Miramax’s “Doubt” and Focus’ “Milk” The Weinstein Co. also hasn’t dated “Shanghai” and “The Reader.”

Elsewhere on the master release calendar, Universal said it will release Tony Gilroy’s Julia Roberts-Clive Owen starrer “Duplicity” on March 20, 2009, and Kevin Macdonald’s “State of Play” on April 17, 2009.

And Warner Bros. has decided to keep the release dates planned for the first three New Line films it will distribute in the wake of the downsizing of that former mini-major.

Warners will open New Line’s “Harold and Kumar: Escape From Guantanamo” on April 25; “Sex and the City” on May 30; and “Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D” on July 11. Warners did not go beyond these three titles in terms of release plans for New Line’s slate, which it is now in charge of distributing.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Taron Egerton Fashion

    Taron Egerton's Stylist Used Elton John as Inspiration on Press Tour

    Showstopping looks: For Taron Egerton’s “Rocketman” tour, stylist Gareth Scourfield nodded to Elton John’s iconic wardrobe with bold colors, patterns and silhouettes: “We got a bit more eccentric.” May 16 “Elton is the real original showman,” says Scourfield, who met Egerton through another client, Egerton’s “Rocketman” co-star Richard Madden. “Part of Taron as a man [...]

  • Lupita Nyong'o Us Best Actress

    Looking to Indie and Genre Performances in the Best Actress Oscar Race

    This year’s race for lead actress could yield some surprising nominations, outside of some clear front-runners including Renee Zellweger (“Judy”), Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”), and Scarlett Johansson (“Marriage Story”). It’s been a terrific year for female performances, with a wide selection of talent taking on challenging roles spread over various genres. The recent societal demand toward [...]

  • Stephen Sondheim's 'Follies' in the Works

    Stephen Sondheim's 'Follies' in the Works as a Movie From Heyday, BBC Films

    David Heyman’s Heyday Films, whose credits include “Gravity,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Marriage Story” and the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises, and BBC Films have secured the film rights to Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s musical “Follies.” “Follies” will be adapted for the screen and directed by Dominic Cooke, a four-time Olivier [...]

  • Gabrielle Carteris SAG Awards

    Gabrielle Carteris Preps for 26th Annual SAG Awards

    SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris is already looking forward to the 26th SAG Awards on Jan. 19, held in its usual location at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. “One of the best things about the SAG Awards is that it’s a peer-to-peer recognition,” she says. “It’s the highest honor for performers to be recognized by [...]

  • Robert Pattinson The Lighthouse Best Actor

    Best Actor Oscar Race Dominated by Known Faces

    In this year’s Oscar race for the lead actor prize, two of the front-runners represent a pair of films likely to duke it out for best picture: Leonardo DiCaprio, whose fading Western TV star Rick Dalton is the heart and soul of Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” and Robert De Niro, who [...]

  • Lawrence G Paull obit

    'Blade Runner' Production Designer Lawrence Paull Dies at 81

    Lawrence G. Paull, the Oscar-nominated production designer who helped create the distinctive looks of 1980s films including the visually groundbreaking 1982 “Blade Runner.” died on Nov. 10 of heart disease in La Jolla, Calif. He was 81. Paull received an Academy Award nomination for art direction with David L. Snyder for Ridley Scott’s prescient film [...]

  • Justin Timberlake'Trolls' film premiere, Los Angeles,

    Justin Timberlake Returns as a Performer and Producer for 'Trolls World Tour' Soundtrack

    Pop star Justin Timberlake, who earned an Oscar nomination for his contribution to the first “Trolls” movie three years ago, is returning to the franchise as the executive music producer of Dreamworks Animation’s “Trolls World Tour” soundtrack, scheduled for this March. . Assisted by Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer/producer Ludwig Göransson, Timberlake produced, wrote and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content