Focus Features is pushing “The Book of Henry” into 2017.
That means that the Colin Trevorrow drama won’t be in the hunt for Oscars … at least not this year. “The Book of Henry” centers on a single mother raising a child prodigy. It was originally slated to debut in limited release on Sept. 16, 2016, before going wide on Sept. 30. The new plan is for “The Book of Henry” to bow on June 16, 2017, in limited release, then gradually expand through the rest of the month into the July 4th holiday. Its new release date coincides with the debuts of “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” and “Cars 3,” but it’s a time period with little in the way of indie dramas.
The film has been testing well, according to insiders, and the hope is that the new date will give it more room to find its audience. The summer is a bit of a wasteland for adult-oriented fare, and Focus is betting that “The Book of Henry” will be able to attract older crowds who may not be enamored of costume heroes and animated adventures. The studio still thinks the film is strong enough to warrant awards attention.
Focus has a robust slate this fall. The indie label is fielding the historical drama “Loving,” Tom Ford’s “Nocturnal Animals,” and the fantasy adventure “A Monster Calls,” all of which are generating awards buzz. After flirting with becoming a more genre-oriented label, the company underwent an overhaul earlier this year with the intention of returning it to its indie roots. Focus originally made a name for itself producing the likes of “Brokeback Mountain” and “The Pianist.” As part of the shift, longtime executive Peter Kujawski replaced Peter Schlessel as the label’s head.
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Trevorrow recently directed “Jurassic World” and is about to join the keepers of the “Star Wars” franchise when he oversees “Episode IX.” Before getting into the blockbuster game, he first captured attention with the Sundance hit “Safety Not Guaranteed.” Oscar nominee Naomi Watts stars in “The Book of Henry,” along with Jacob Tremblay (“Room”), and Jaeden Lieberher (“Midnight Special”). Other cast members include comedian Sarah Silverman, Dean Norris, (“Breaking Bad”) and Lee Pace (“Guardians of the Galaxy”). Crime novelist Gregg Hurwitz wrote the screenplay.
Executive producers include Sue Baden-Powell, John Penotti, Nick Meyer, Bruce Toll. Sidney Kimmel, Carla Hacken, Jenette Kahn, and Adam Richman produced the movie.