The movie is a sequel of sorts to 1973’s “The Last Detail,” a profane drama about a group of Navy officers that scored Oscar nominations for Jack Nicholson and Randy Quaid. Linklater’s film has an entirely new cast. It stars Steve Carell as Doc, a soft-spoken vet whose only child has been killed in the early days of the Iraqi invasion. Bryan Cranston plays Sal, the volatile part that Nicholson made famous, with Laurence Fishburne as another vet named Mueller. Together the friends go on a road trip up the Eastern Seaboard.
“Last Flag Flying” will have its world premiere on Thursday, September 28. The film will open theatrically on November 17, 2017 from Amazon Studios. Past opening night films include hits such as “Gone Girl,” “Life of Pi,” and “The Social Network,” as well as duds like “The Walk.” Last year’s festival kicked off with Ava DuVernay’s acclaimed “13th,” a look at race and the criminal justice system that was nominated for a best documentary Oscar.
The selection puts “Last Flag Flying” in the heart of awards season, signalling it will very much be on the hunt for Oscar gold. Along with the Telluride and Toronto film festivals, the New York Film Festival is seen as a key launching ground for Oscar bait movies.
Linklater’s credits include the Oscar-winning “Boyhood” and “Dazed and Confused.”
“It’s always special to be at the New York Film Festival, but to be premiering our movie on opening night, when you look at the half century of films that have occupied that slot, is a wonderful honor,” Linklater said in a statement.