Marketing for the true story inspired Foxcatcher is getting properly going now, following the movie’s premiere at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival over the weekend and the first clip being released online last week. The latest drama by director Bennett Miller (Moneyball) was scripted by E. Max Frye (Where the Money Is) and actor/writer Dan Futterman (who also co-wrote Miller’s Oscar-winning Truman Capote biographical feature, Capote).
Based on actual events, Frye and Futterman’s Foxcatcher screenplay offers an intimate look at the relationship between Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum), his older brother/ex-Olympian, Dave (Mark Ruffalo), and millionaire Jon du Pont (Steve Carell) – a relationship that went terribly wrong in the late 1990s, when du Pont finally ceased to be an eccentric rich guy – and crossed over the line, to become a wealthy madman.
Originally, Foxcatcher was being groomed to compete in the 2013 awards season, but Sony Pictures Classics ended up delaying the film in order to allow Miller the necessary time to finish post-production on the project. Because Foxcatcher is still very much considered to be a prestigious flick best fit for a late-year theatrical launch, the movie wasn’t officially given a new release date until around seven months later - allowing the film ample time to premiere at the 2014 Cannes and, potentially, starting generating positive buzz well ahead of its arrival.
A teaser trailer for Foxcatcher – ominously hinting at the terrible chain of events that build up to the chilling final act of the du Pont/Schulz brothers’ story – leaked online before the movie had been formally delayed, but it’s now been officially made available by Sony. You can watch that clip above, then have a look at the Cannes Film Festival teaser poster for the movie (hat tip to Collider), below:
So far, reviews from those who’ve seen Foxcatcher are quite strong, with the initial consensus being that the film is as intelligent as Miller’s previous work – blending the frank examination of the beast that is the competitive sports industry in Moneyball with Capote‘s unsettling deconstruction of real-world atrocities – and the people responsible for them. You can see for yourself, by reading the excerpts from a handful of those early reviews, below (click the respective link for the full review):
In “Capote” and “Moneyball,” Bennett Miller gazed into the souls of real-life American iconoclasts launching bold and unexpectedly costly new enterprises, a theme that the director has now taken to powerfully disturbing extremes in his great, brooding true-crime saga “Foxcatcher.” [This] insidiously gripping psychological drama is a model of bleak, bruising, furiously concentrated storytelling, anchored by exceptional performances from Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo and an almost unrecognizable Steve Carell.
Mesmerizing in its incremental layering of a bizarre, tragic and thoroughly warped character study, Foxcatcher sees director Bennett Miller well surpassing even the fine work he did in his previous two films, Capote and Moneyball. Centered on an astonishing and utterly unexpected serious turn by Steve Carell, this beautifully modulated work has a great deal on its mind about America’s privileged class, usurious relationships, men’s ways of proving themselves, brotherly bonds and how deeply sublimated urges can assert themselves in the most unsavory ways.
Bennett Miller’s sports movie Foxcatcher – based on a grisly true story – is a superb tragicomedy of the beta-male, a nightmare of the also-ran and almost-ran. It is also a deeply strange story about a strange man whose insecurities were all too ordinary and explicable. The movie is like an agonising drama based on Jerry Seinfeld’s routine about the horror of the silver medal. (“Silver? You’re the No 1 loser.”) And above everything else, it is a piercing insight into toxic mentor-ism, into competitive men and their terrible emotional need to find a father-figure to hate and to disappoint.
Foxcatcher opens in U.S. theaters on November 14th, 2014.